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Richard Bates Jr.
Matthew Gray Gubler,
A hike alone in the woods ends tragically for Beth Slocum with a fatal snake bite. Her death leaves her parents and boyfriend Zach reeling. After the funeral, Zach tries to make friends with Mr. and Mrs. Slocum, but even they reject him, and he's determined to figure out why. Then he sees Beth. Her parents are trying to keep her resurrection a secret, but zombie Beth provides Zach with the opportunity to do everything with her that he didn't get to do while she was still alive. But with Beth's increasingly erratic behavior and even more strange occurrences around town, life with the undead Beth proves to be particularly complicated for her still-living loved ones. Written by
(at around 5 mins) When Zach and Maury are playing a game of chess, the black square is in the bottom right corner when it should be the white square. See more »
Oh, everything's great. Beth's alive and it was all just one big hoax. So, just forget about it.
Well, I don't think that's funny.
Yeah, well, I don't either.
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Life After Beth is a kooky take on the beyond exhausted zombie movie.
Aubrey Plaza plays the Beth of Life After Beth a recently deceased sorta ex- girlfriend of Zach, Dane DeHaan, who mysteriously rises from the grave. The longer cadaverous Beth walks amongst the living the more Zach realizes things are not quite right.
Plaza and DeHaan are nuanced in their performances. Plaza slowly transforms on par with her character Beth's physical transformation into putrid detritus. DeHaan contributes with concerned subtle glances and side-eyes that at any moment his ex-girlfriend hunger for brains will kick in.
Jeff Baena writes and directs this weird RomCom zombie movie. Life After Beth is the definition of quirky and unconventional. It is bizarre and aspects of it are well thought out. It somehow blurs the line between horror and romance with the dialogue delightfully ambiguous enough to make audiences forget the subject matter:
Zach: You don't wanna eat me right now? Beth: Zach Stop, my parents!
Baena's theme through out the film is that being a zombie does not change a person substantially. As the layers of flesh are biologically broken down, so do the humanity-driven walls we build up to reveal a rawer version of the person. (note: I realize this is way deeper than needs to be) In this case Beth becomes voraciously needy, emotionally turbulent and in desperate denial.
Life After Beth is smart and surprisingly novel movie interpretation given the influx supply in the zombie movie section of video rentals. But it is half realized and under-formed in the parallels and juxtaposition between being in denial about being undead and being in a relationship that is no longer thriving.
The concept of using zombie-dom as a mirror and metaphor to look into a romantic relationship is fascinating. It is not realized or explored to its full potential that should have been expanded upon.
Life After Beth reminds us that together forever is a really long commitment when half of the relationship is a zombie.
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