Review: Life After Beth

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Jeff Baena writes and directs Life After Beth, a film about a boy whose girlfriend returns from the grave, but doesn’t come back quite the same.

Set in suburban America, is the story of Beth and Zach. After Beth tragically dies from a snake bite, Zach soon discovers his girlfriend hasn’t stayed dead for long. From discovering Beth has been ‘resurrected’, to Zach’s initial exaltation to his inevitable terror the film struggles to take an interesting premise and turn it into something more substantial.

Aubrey Plaza and Dane DeHaan head a stellar cast as Beth and Zach. Both deliver believable performances in an unbelievable film and do the best they can with a script that fails both the characters and plot. The supporting cast of John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon, Cheryl Hines, Paul Reiser and Matthew Gray Gubler, though a great group of actors, also struggle with characters and a script that don’t quite hit the mark.

Over the years the Zombie film has proved to be the perfect format to bring the horror and comedy genres together. With such films as Dawn of the Dead, Sean of the Dead and Zombieland, time and time again directors have shown how well these two formats combine. This isn’t the case for Life After Beth. Sadly this film is void of humour, and all attempts at humour are either uncomfortable or poorly executed. The characters themselves are inherently unfunny and uninteresting, resulting in the first half of the film being a meandering bore. During the second half, when the zombie apocalypse does kick in, the horror is non-existent and the jokes fall even flatter, resulting in the film going from being a bore to becoming just plain annoying.

Neither funny nor scary this quirky wannabe zom-rom-com, like it’s main character, lacks bite, brains and would be better off staying dead.

‘Life After Beth’ opens in cinemas around the UK from October 1st.

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