Review: ‘Life After Beth’

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Life After Beth
Staring Aubrey Plaza, Dane DeHaan, John C. Reilly
Directed by Jeff Baena
Now open
Grade B-

We hope you haven’t cooled on your love of the undead, because this zombie movie is still worth checking out, even if it is the one to put that final nail in the zombie pop culture coffin.

Zombies and love stories are two things that should not go together, yet everyone enjoys forcing them to be together. Luckily, Life After Beth understands how ridiculous the genre is and decides to have fun with it anyways.

And oddly enough, this dating a zombie premise doesn’t bother us as much as say, Warm Bodies, where the dreamboat boy zombie can control eating the face of his beloved. All bets are off if you want to spoon a zombie in Life After Beth.

The film starts with Zach, played by Dane DeHaan, being distraught over the loss of his girlfriend, Beth (played by Aubrey Plaza). We are told Beth went on a hike, got bit by a poisonous snake and died far too young. The twist comes when Beth suddenly isn’t so dead anymore.

Much of the zombie plot of this movie is left in the dark. You don’t get any real answers about how or why the dead are coming back to life, but that is mostly because all of the characters don’t want to hear about it.

Zach, along with Beth’s parents (played by John C. Reilly and Molly Shannon) are so happy to have Beth back in the world of the living that they are afraid to ask too many questions. You get clues about what Beth and Zach’s relationship was like before she died, but her resurrection gives the pair a second shot at happiness.

At least that is what Zach hopes. Beth on the other hand, has no idea what is going on.

Everything seems fine at first and the couple cannot stop being in reckless young love, but as time progresses Beth’s freshness wears off and her sunny disposition starts to get cloudy. Slowly but surely she turns into the monster she is supposed to be–the one we all know and love from “The Walking Dead.”

But what fun is it to have flesh tearing zombies when they can be used for comedy? Beth regressing into a brain eating monster is both gross and hilarious. Zach is ill-equipped to handle a relationship with a regular live girl, much less an oozing, bloody shell of a girl.

The cast is the main draw to the film and watching them stumble through a zombie apocalypse beats the anguish and revulsion other, more traditional, zombie films might offer.

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