If you’ve been reading my reviews on this website, then you know I love a good horror comedy. Something that’s creepy and hilarious? Right up my alley. That’s why my favorite classic horror franchise is Evil Dead. In my search for good horror comedies, I kept coming across one movie: Life After Beth. So, six years after it came out, I finally decided to watch it.
Punny title. What’s it about?
Zach is a young man that lives with his parents and brother. He’s dating a girl named Beth who dies after getting bitten by a snake on a hike. Zach attends the funeral but comes back later and finds Beth alive, at home. He promises her father that he won’t tell Beth she’s dead. For a while, things are good and Zach and Beth rekindle their relationship. Then, more dead people start coming back to life. Beth starts behaving way more erratically and violently, and Zach tells her that she’s dead. She steals his car and disappears while tons more zombies arrive. Beth’s dad, angry at Zach for telling her, takes her back to the house. The movie ends with Zach murdering Beth (in an actually hilarious scene) and finding his family in a bunker.
Sounds very quirky.
Well, it’s an A24 film, so of course it was. Life After Beth definitely had an off-beat tone that kind of straddled the line between absurd comedy and taking itself seriously. Personally, I wish it had gone farther down the comedy route and truly taken advantage of the amazing cast. Aubrey Plaza was incredible, as always. But I felt that other talented cast members, such as John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon, and Matthew Gray Gubler, could have had more to work with. I think the female cast especially suffered because their roles were limited to interaction with their husbands and partners. I would have loved to see more interactions between Beth and her mom.
Aside from that, this movie was visually fantastic. It is an A24 film, after all, so you get some seriously gorgeous shots even in the midst of chaos. Another thing I have to commend this movie for was the makeup design. The contrast between Beth at the beginning of the movie (when she’s alive) and Beth at the end of the movie (when she’s a full-on zombie and is a decomposing corpse) is so awesome. Props to the entire makeup department, led by Alyson Black-Barrie.
I also want to say while this movie isn’t as funny as I hoped it would be, there are some genuinely hilarious scenes. Two standouts for me were when Beth chomps off her mother’s hand and when Zach kills Beth and the shot lingers on her body rolling down a hill with a stove tied to her back. I wish there had been more moments like that, because some parts of the movie felt like a lull.
Life After Beth was a unique, interesting horror rom-com. It has an amazing cast, led by great performances from Aubrey Plaza and Dane DeHaan. It’s pretty short, especially compared to other movies from the same studio, and there are some good moments. I definitely think it’s a solid movie. However, the film just wasn’t as memorable or fun as I wanted it to be. Still, if you’re looking for an offbeat love story with horror elements, Life After Beth might be for you.(3.5 / 5)