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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Boring Movie with Messy Screenplay, Senseless Story, Nice Cinematography and Lots of Fake Reviews Promoting It in IMDb

2/10
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
29 October 2013

The crime photographer Joe MacCormack (John Mellencamp) is tired of his profession and he quits his job and he visits his Aunt Cora (Louise Fletcher) that has raised his brother and him since they were boys. Joe meets the deaf Laura (Terrylene), who helps his aunt in housekeeping and has premonitions of death, and they feel attracted for each other. Meanwhile a serial-killer is threatening Laura.

"After Image" is a boring movie with messy screenplay, senseless story, nice cinematography and lots of fake reviews promoting it in IMDb. Nothing that happens in this movie is clear. Joe apparently has seen so many murders that he can not bear his profession; or is it a trauma? What is the purpose of his brother in the story? Laura has premonitions and again, no explanations for her ability. Who is the serial-killer and what connection does he have with Joe and Laura. What has happened with the videotape that the killer had sent to Joe and is erased when he goes to the police? In the end, this movie does not explain anything along 92 minutes running time. Before reading any favorable review in IMDb, see the only review of those who are writing to avoid being disappointed like I am. My vote is two.

Title (Brazil): "Visões da Morte" ("Visions of Death")

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

so-so thriller, but doesn't deserve to have been held back from release this long

5/10
Author: FieCrier from Upstate New York
30 December 2004

I saw this at a meeting of the Upstate Independents in Troy, New York.

The movie was OK from what I recall. I did like how there was a lot of sign language in the movie. Mellancamp's girlfriend speaks it, and he speaks it with her. Mellancamp plays a crime scene photographer who is tired of it, tired of everything perhaps. At one point he dumps some of his photos off a bridge into a river.

A killer who is obsessed with video (he's surrounded by TV sets in a warehouse) takes an interest in Mellancamp. He sends a message to Mellancamp on a videotape, and Mellancamp has a problem when he takes the video to the police - I thought that was clever.

The killer has a job as an egg sorter. I think the person showing the film to us (not the director) was asked about that, and I guess it was because the director thought it was an interesting job he'd never seen in a movie before, and also the idea of "good eggs" and "bad eggs" and the humor of having a "bad egg" in charge of that.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

It's the Screenplay That's the Problem

3/10
Author: Daniel Krause (danielkr@darkmeat.name) from United States
5 December 2011

Hollywood is full of people who have taken basic screen writing courses, people who have been forced to see everything in terms of 3-act structure and what the protagonist wants and how he acts to achieve his goals. You can't swing a dead cat in the movie biz without hitting someone who has this stuff burned into their cerebral cortex.

But somehow the producers did.

If you don't know about classic screenplay structure it's just a boring movie that seems longer than its 91 minutes, but if you do it's a fascinating series of bad decisions. I was considering adding spoilers here but I'm not even sure you can spoil this story. It's an anti-story.

The plus is that the photography is really quite lovely. If you are a trained CINEMATOGRAPHER, you might think this is pretty good.

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7 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Interesting, Unusual Thriller

8/10
Author: Tommypest
25 August 2005

Manganelli has crafted an intriguing tale with an off-beat rhythm. Mellencamp is not great, and probably weighs the story down, but the other players (Terrylene & Louise Flecthcer) are in good form. Not all the film's threads and themes get wrapped up neatly by the end, but the ambiguity and lingering unease actually works with this different take on the genre. Definitely worth a look, even though it doesn't quite accomplish everything it sets out to do. There's also good use of upstate New York locations, and it's refreshing to see something that was not obviously faked in LA. Also recommended is the DVD extra about the film's unconventional financing and production.

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7 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

After Image should have received more attention!

9/10
Author: Molly Ferryman (mferryman@yahoo.com) from United States
12 August 2005

After hearing about "After Image" for several years and waiting for it to be released on DVD, I finally was able to get my hands on a copy of this movie (fair warning to see this movie you will have to order it or rent it via one of those DVD movie places online). This movie was very smart and definitely should have received more attention than it did. The performances were incredible and I am just not saying that because I am a huge John Mellencamp fan. For its budget, After Image has the look and feel of any $50 million Hollywood major release. In fact, it is a much better movie than most major Hollywood releases I've paid to see recently. The cinematography is amazing and there is an underlying tension in this movie that keeps you guessing until the end. It is a character driven indie thriller with more going on than meets the eye. Definitely worth checking out!

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8 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Outstanding Film!

10/10
Author: Erick from Los Angeles
11 March 2002

One of Manganelli's best work! Had the opportunity to watch the film at the Sundance. A Visually stunning movie. The images haunted me... even in my dreams! What made the film especially powerful is the stellar performance by Terrylene. Manganelli makes excellent use of mirror imagery in the film to present a sense of surreal scenes.

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9 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

A beautiful, intelligent film.

Author: james_lane from Los Angeles
12 November 2002

Robert Manganelli's After Image employees an extraordinarily rich cinematic palette. Relying on a sophisticated use of sound and image, often working on different expressive planes, After Image brings together two characters at crossroads in their lives. Joe, understatedly played by John Mellecamp, is a crime scene photographer who can no longer find meaning in his difficult career and decides to return to his childhood home. Laura, beautifully played by Terrylene, is a deaf woman who experiences premonitions. Her most recent visions bring her physically and spiritually close to Joe as they attempt to find and stop a vicious serial killer who preys on the innocent.

There are a number of points that should be brought out. As director, Manganelli is in complete control of his medium and knows from scene to scene, moment to moment, where to lead an audience. Moreover, the subtle undertones of this film, slowly developed in rich poetic ways, makes it so much a cut above the ordinary American film offerings. Exquisitely using the backdrops of western New York and specifically the city of Rochester (home to Eastman Kodak), Manganelli reflects on the genuine human connections people make at very desperate moments in their lives. This is a film about being vulnerable, being melancholy, and also a film about extraordinary human acceptance and forgiveness.

You will not be disappointed in this film. You will walk away knowing you have just seen a film directed and acted by people who clearly are very talented and know how to make intelligent films. You will also not be able to forget it because, like many great films, After Image speaks to you long after you have left the movie theater.

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8 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Outstanding Film!

10/10
Author: Erick from Los Angeles
11 March 2002

One of Manganelli's best work! Had the opportunity to watch the film at the Sundance. A Visually stunning movie. The images haunted me... even in my dreams! What made the film especially powerful is the stellar performance by Terrylene. Manganelli makes excellent use of mirror imagery in the film to present a sense of surreal scenes.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Kind of unnecessary

5/10
Author: Polaris_DiB from United States
28 December 2005

I used to like thrillers over horror movies because I figured that the psychology involved meant a lot more thought needed to be put into the characters and plot line to make it work. Lately that kind of reasoning has been kind of failing me.

Not that this is a bad movie by any means. It's just kind of unnecessary. The idea is good and I'm attracted to it because of a similar situation in a Carl Hiaasen novel. A crime-scene photographer who is severely affected by the nature of his photographs decides to escape for a while, going to stay with his aunt. Unfortunately, a psychopath is loose and chasing down the photographer and his new girlfriend, who is deaf and sees visions of future crimes, a la something like In Dreams and whatnot.

I figured this movie would be interesting to see because of the idea of an "after image" affecting the photographer character and how he deals with his, erm, photographic memory, but it didn't really concentrate on that. I thought it'd be interesting seeing Louise Fletcher, the ol' Nurse Ratchet herself, in a different role than the one that terrorized Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Instead, besides her being older and a bit more heavy, it's not.

I can't really say for sure that this movie is that good or that bad. On one hand, it took the time to really develop an interesting group of characters. On the other hand, most of them were archetypes and presented half of the time in slow motion to create drama. The self-reflective element of the camera or the mirror, reflected and divided imaging and the like, wasn't really there. The director obviously took a lot of time finding ways to present the action through an "other" lens, but not really for any real reason except maintaining consistency.

I want to say this to the director: good work, now go make something interesting. Maybe we just have someone who needs a bit of practice on our hands.

--PolarisDiB

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4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Lots of pictures, no development!

3/10
Author: BDeWittP from United States
8 September 2005

After Image is a movie with a lot of potential, but there is absolutely no clarity in the story whatsoever. John Mellencamp plays Joe McCormack, a photographer who hates his job and quits, but there is no way we understand or even care why or how he got to that point. There is a scene where he throws his camera into the river, with no little scenes building up to that point. No explanation is given for this act, other than a vague response to his Aunt(played by Louise Fletcher), who tells him she thinks he's unhappy. "I'm not unhappy," he says, "To be unhappy you have to care, and I don't care." But why is that?

None of this dialog with his aunt is developed any further, and the only thing that does clarify this is the film's summary on back of the DVD that says that he is "burned out after seeing one too many homicides." Later we see him form a relationship with Laura (played by Terrylene in the film's best performance), but there is very little chemistry, only a connection by the fact that they're both acquainted with Joe's Aunt.

We finally come to the plot (if you call it that) about the killer and the young female victims. We see Laura having visions about the killer and his victims, but how did she get this power? Who is this man? Why is he committing these crimes? What is it the connection between he, Laura and Joe? What in the world is going on here? The story makes no sense and nothing goes together at all. For example Joe's brother Sam, played by Billy Burke, has so little screen time, he is just a distraction. What is he doing in the film?

One scene in particular is a perfect example of the illogical plot and the lack of clarity in the story. For some odd reason, the killer makes a videotape of one of his crimes. It is delivered to Joe with the message "Watch Me." The killer shows his face, and later Joe takes the tape to the police. Miraculously, when he plays the tape for them, there is nothing but static. The film gives no explanation for any of this.

When we get to the ending(which I will not give away), it is neither convincing nor plausible. The killer just happens to show up, spying on Joe, and then the chase begins? Give us a break. With better writing and more clarity, this could have been a great film, with the potential to be even better.

I would recommend that the writers of this movie watch the 1986 thriller, The Bedroom Window, which is as well-written as After Image is badly written. The Bedroom Window was another movie about a male who murders young women, but by the end you know why the events happened, what went on, and why the characters did what they did. This a one of those movies where I was hoping to get the answer as to what in the world was going on, in the next scene, and never got it.

On a positive note, Terrylene's performance was splendid, and Mellencamp's was good, too. There were also some good scenes of Rochester, which, hopefully will open some people's eyes who may want to come to Rochester to shoot future films. Movies cannot be entertaining unless the audience either knows what is going or will be able to figure out why or how the events went together by the end of the movie. This one should have been revised by the writers more than once, because the story (or lack thereof) was too cloudy.

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