AFTER.LIFE

The Sixth Sense meets Jacob's Ladder, without the clever surprise of
the former or the unsettling creepiness of the latter. Is Christina
Ricci really dead? Or has she been drugged by serial-killing mortician
Liam Neeson to add to his sick collection of living corpses? The movie
does a decent job of keeping you guessing throughout. And at its best,
it becomes a meditation on the difficulty of letting go — for both
the one who's dying and the ones she leaves behind. As a thriller,
though, it's too sluggish. And Justin Long, while competent in a
dramatic role, is an actor with a natural inclination to make you
laugh — so it's difficult to accept him as consumed with grief.
(Ricci always seems dead anyway, so her work here can hardly be
considered a stretch.) This movie had a limited release last April and
is now On Demand, possibly because Anchor Bay couldn't figure out how
to market it. — Jeff Schultz

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