For horror fans with iron stomachs able to withstand the most hardcore, disgusting, wretched, vomit-inducing films to those who don’t even like horror, we can all agree on one thing. For those of us not lucky to find love, we make it a mission to search for it and keep it. It doesn’t make us weak or even silly. Deep down, we all want to find love and be loved. The idea of it is in almost every story, whether it’s between friends or with a person someone falls madly in love with.
Based on this topic is the film, Here After, written and directed by Harry Greenberger (Staring At The Sun 2017).
A dark fantasy-comedy about the meaning of love in the afterlife.
I have to say I greatly enjoyed Here After. When I first saw the trailer, it had this Hallmark feel to it. Not putting down anyone who actually enjoys them, but the very few I have seen—not by my own choice—are too hokey and unreal. After watching Here After, I got this great sense that life is short and can end at any second by the way Scarlett (Christina Ricci: Sleepy Hollow 1999) explains it all to Michael (Andy Karl: Law & Order: SVU TV series). He has to find love to move on in the afterlife. Sound easy? Sound hard? Sounds like an interesting story when you see it unfold in the movie.
We watch Michael move along earth where he can’t be seen or heard but is able to drink and read. Despite my initial misgivings after watching the trailer, Here After doesn’t take the route of being kooky or silly. There are no musical montages of Michael while looking for love or having fun being a ghost. It shows life going on and the pain families and friends feel after the loss of a loved one. Michael is in “Hell” watching his family talk about him while trying to find a connection, only to realize that he has so much time before he will be taken to the afterlife and be able to not cross over. He would be stuck forever. Ideally, this is terrifying and scary. Alone in oblivion would be a nightmare.
The way to avoid this is through Honey Bee (Nora Arnezeder: Army Of The Dead 2021)—yes, that’s her real name. She is neither the typical romantic counterpart nor the damsel in distress. It’s hard to see where she’s coming from which is good as she keeps the viewer’s assumptions at bay as we root for them to find happiness.
Here After has its share of drama and turmoil that keep the story interesting and make the goal worth worth the time. Usually with a film review, I find the good and bad with my take on why something didn’t work but how it could’ve been better. Perhaps the bad in this film is that I automatically assumed Here After to be something it wasn’t, when in reality, we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. The film is certainly worth watching, and I have to admit, I did cry. The idea of death is scary, and the idea of being alone in oblivion is even worse. This movie gives us hope and shows that, even after death, one can still find love.