Howdy ladies and gents, time for another film review and today’s review comes in the form of Life after Beth. Now I hadn’t heard of this film until last week when I saw a TV spot for it and while it looked like some sort of silly zombie comedy, the fact that Aubrey Plaza and Dane Dehaan were in gave me a reason to seek it out. So luckily while I was up in Sheffield earlier this week I got to watch it and now I’m ready to give you my thoughts. Minor Spoilers Follow 🙂
The story can be described as the following:
“Zach is devastated by the unexpected death of his girlfriend, Beth. When she miraculously comes back to life, Zach takes full advantage of the opportunity to experience all the things he regretted not doing when she was alive. However, the newly returned Beth isn’t quite the way he remembered her, and before long, Zach’s world takes a turn for the worse.”
I thought from the way the film was advertised that it was going to be some sort of comedy and while it certainly comedic at various points in the film, this is not Zombieland. This is like a dark comedy with a minor focus on zombies There’s a much bigger focus on Zach and his relationship with his girlfriend, Beth, the story is focused around them until Beth starts to become uncontrollable and the film opens up to this small epidemic that is taking place all over the local town. The film did not play out how I imagined and there were a few things about the way in which the small zombie apocalypse was handled was different and interesting. The humour in the film did feel a little lacking and I’m sure there were points where jokes or funny lines were spoken which were supposed to make me laugh, but I, along with the rest of the members of the cinema screen stayed silent. Another bummer was the fact that the film went on a bit too long, part of what happens towards the end of the film is a long time coming, but I feel like it could have been done a lot sooner.
As for the cast, they are all good for the most part. Aubrey Plaza as Beth Slocum is great, she really gives 100% in this role as human-like zombie who at first seems normal, but eventually starts to deteriorate and go a bit psycho as the film progresses. What I liked about Plaza here is that this role felt like an extension of her character April in Parks and Recreation, like if April wanted to go crazy and eat people I feel like this is the kind of stuff that she would do. But beyond that, Beth is a beautiful, caring and well-mannered girl, that being said when she freaks out, she can be very similar to the Hulk in terms of strength, anger and all-round chaos and I loved it. Dane DeHaan is also good as Zach Orfman. Zach is a guy who basically goes through hell and back when he loses his girlfriend, gets her back, then has to deal with her mood swings, angry outbursts and much more, so you can’t help but feel bad for the guy in a lot of ways. That being said the dude is a bit too lovesick for my liking and can come across as a bit of a whiny bitch at times. DeHaan did well with his material and I like how far he has come as an actor since 2012.
John C. Reilly as Maury Slocum was interesting, he is a well-mannered man who loved his daughter and had a good relationship with Zach, however, once Berth comes back to life and becomes involved with Zach again, he starts to get very protective of his daughter and aggressive towards Zach. Reilly is a funny guy and I’ve seen that in the past, but I don’t believe he was nearly as funny as he should have been. Molly Shannon doesn’t fare any better as Geenie Slocum, she is just there to support her husband but doesn’t really have many stand-out moments to herself. Both of them together work well together and they have interesting banter, but considering the situation with their daughter, I thought there could have been funnier and more serious moments for them to take on in the story. Cheryl Hines and Paul Reiser as Judy and Noah Orfman are fine as Zach’s parents, but they aren’t really all that interesting to be honest. Of the Orfman family the funniest would be Matthew Gray Gubler as Kyle Orfman as his job as a security officer puts him in some funny scenarios with his brother and other members of the community throughout the film. Also the lovely Anna Kendrick was nice as Erica Wexler. Erica is a cute and good-hearted person, but is also a bit of an airhead and this is the first time I’ve seen Anna Kendrick in such a light-hearted and silly role, but she was definitely entertaining. Oh, and I was so happy to see Jim O’Heir as Chip the Mailman, (another member from the Parks and Rec TV show for those paying attention).
In conclusion Life after Beth is a pleasant bit of zombie fun with a great central performance from Aubrey Plaza and good back up from Dane DeHaan. And while the film’s humour is a bit hit and miss, and film’s length is extended a bit longer than it should have been, otherwise it was a good time.
So have you seen Life After Beth and if so what did you think of it? Be sure to comment below and let me know. Until next time peeps, laters! 😀