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After.Life (2009)

aka After.Life

"Life is the symptom. Death is the cure."

Details: 104 mins · English · R (USA)


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Small Eliot Deacon
Small Paul Coleman
Small Anna Taylor
Small Tom Peterson
Small Jack
Small Beatrice Taylor
No_movie_poster Vincent Miller
No_movie_poster Restaurant Patron
No_movie_poster Susan Whitehall
No_movie_poster Young Anna Taylor
No_movie_poster Old Woman #1
No_movie_poster Mrs. Hutton
No_movie_poster Tall Kid
No_movie_poster Security Guard (as William O. Perkins III)


"Life is the symptom. Death is the cure."


Middle school teacher Anna Taylor (Christina Ricci) attends a funeral of her piano teacher and it is there she encounters the solemn owner of the funeral home, Eliot Deacon (Liam Neeson). That night at a restaurant Anna argues with her boyfriend Paul (Justin Long), leaves in a panic, and gets in a traffic accident. She awakens in a morgue dazed, confused and numb finding the morgue director, Eliot, cleaning her head wound, stitching it up and telling her she has died. He tells Anna he has a gift to assist the dead in crossing over to help them accept their deaths. Later in the funeral home it is revealed Eliot talks to the dead, and has a collection of photographs of corpses, it is implied he helped each of the dead to cross over. Eliot injects Anna regularly with a chemical to "relax the muscles and keep rigor mortis from setting in."

Anna attempts to escape several times but is unsuccessful; Eliot tells her, she must let go of life as she had not really been living anyway. Eventually, Anna steals Eliot's keys, escapes, and finds a room with a phone intent on calling Paul for help. She reaches Paul, but he is unable to hear her and hangs up thinking it's a prank. Anna comes to believe she actually died when Eliot allows her to look in a mirror and she sees herself looking corpse-like. She does not notice her breath leaves a fog on the mirror and Eliot quickly wipes away the evidence. Outside, one of Anna's students, Jack, sees her and relays the information to Paul, who becomes suspicious that she is still alive.

During the final preparation for the funeral, Anna asks Eliot if she can see herself one last time in the mirror. Eliot holds up a small mirror, but while she stares at herself she exhales and notices her breath condensing on the glass. Suddenly, concerned Eliot has been lying to her, Anna begins to believe she has been alive all along. Eliot injects her one last time with chemicals to make her numb. At the funeral, as Paul views Anna's body, she twitches her eyes but is unable to get his attention . Paul then places the engagement ring he intended to give her the night of the crash on her finger and comments, "She's cold," then kisses her.

After the funeral, Paul drinks heavily telling Eliot he knew Anna was not dead. Anna is shown awakening to the sound of earth being shoveled onto her coffin. She cries out as she struggles against death desperately scratching the satin lining of her coffin lid until her fingers bleed. As she slowly dies of suffocation, Eliot suggests Paul should go to the cemetery and find out whether Anna is actually dead or not before it is too late. Driving fast and under the influence of alcohol Paul rushes to the cemetery. There is an ambiguous cut before he is shown digging up Anna's grave finding her alive. The two embrace and Anna tells Paul she has always loved him. As they hug, Paul is curious about some unusual sounds he hears; Anna explains it is the sound of Eliot's gloves and scissors on the table as he prepares Paul's body. Paul sees Anna literally disappearing from his embrace then sees the bright flash of headlights by the cemetery. A moment later, he finds himself in the morgue with Eliot standing over him preparing his body. Paul says he saw Anna, but Eliot tells him that he never made it to the cemetery due to a car accident which killed him. Paul claims vehemently that he is not dead, that he is alive, until the moment Eliot inserts a trocar deep into his torso.

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 2010-04-09 : United States of America

DVD : 2010-08-03