A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
"You people!" says Eliot Deacon sadly, and with a touch of frustration. He is referring to the dead. They are whiners. They're not ready to die, they've got unfinished business, there are things they still desire, the death certificate is mistaken, and on and on and on. Deacon, as a mortician, has to put up with this.
Take Anna as an example. She drove away from a disastrous dinner with her boyfriend, was speeding on a rainy night, and was killed in a crash. Now here she is on a porcelain slab in his prep room, telling him there's been some mistake. Deacon tries to reason with her. He even shows her the coroner's signature on the death certificate. But no. She's alive, as he can clearly see. Besides, if he's so sure she's dead, why does he carefully lock the door from the outside whenever he leaves the room?
"After.Life" is a strange movie that never clearly declares whether Anna (Christina Ricci) is dead or alive. Well, not alive in the traditional sense, but alive in a sort of middle state between life and death. Her body is presumably dead. She has no pulse, and we assume her blood has been replaced by embalming fluid. Yet she protests, argues, can sit up and move around. Is Deacon (Liam Neeson) the only one who can see this? Maybe he's fantasizing? No, the little boy Jack (Chandler Canterbury) sees her too, through a window.
Jack tells her boyfriend Paul (Justin Long). He believes it. He's had a great deal of difficulty accepting her death. He still has the engagement ring he planned to offer her on that fateful night. He tries to break into the funeral home. He causes a scene at the police station. He sounds like a madman to them.