After She Died (2022) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

After She Died (2022) Review

Horrorific content by christina on October 31st, 2022 | Movie Review | Possession, Supernatural, Back from the Dead, Drama, Psychological, Madness, Mystery, Dysfunctional Family, Australian

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It's about a girl who is shocked to see that her father's new girlfriend looks identical to her recently deceased mother.

After She Died was directed by Jack Dignan and stars Liliana RitchieVanessa MadridPaul TalbotBarbara Bingham (Beyond Darkness, Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, and Death Mask), Greg PoppletonAdam GolledgeAnnabelle AndrewLorry D'ErcoleOla Endress, and Noah Fowler.

After She Died (2022) Review

After She Died begins with a screaming couple and Jen trying to block it out. However, her mother, Isabel, dies shortly afterward due to mysterious causes. The death of Jen's mother is sudden and unexplained, and she must face her high school graduation without her mother by her side. This was a significant blow for Jen, who was close to her mother.

As Jen's close friends prepare to move on from their small town, Jen is left feeling lost and alone. Recently experiencing the loss of her mother, Jen is struggling to grapple with the change. As a result, Jen feels aimless and without guidance, stuck in a town that now feels too empty.

Jen's mother, Isabel, unexpectedly passes away, leaving her to deal with the trauma and heartbreak. Adding to her distress, Jen's father, John, moves his new girlfriend, Florence, into their home just days after Isabel's death. Unfortunately, Florence looks uncannily identical to Isabel, and John is frustratingly unwilling to divulge any information about what's happening.

Writer/director Jack Dignan immediately lets us know that Jen is suitable to be suspicious. The protagonist's mother returns from the dead but is not quite the same.

Isabel/Florence, resurrected after being killed, becomes pregnant and poses a significant threat. This is especially true for Jen, who is left paralyzed and vulnerable after a tragic car accident.

Madrid completely steals the show from start to finish with her characterization of Florence.

The subject's new form is prone to violence, which is reflected in her behavior as she alternates between seeming dangerous and sweet. At one point, she gives a wicked smile that shows how different she is now. The sight was enough to send chills down anyone's spine - a slightly elongated with rotting slits.

Florence gave off an intense vibe, and I felt like she might have had Munchausen by Proxy. She was hurting her "daughter" to keep her close and prevent her from straying from the family.

There's a feeling that everything is disconnected, and time seems to be slipping away. Yet, we're not of the passage of time or what is happening.

It can feel like the world is falling apart after losing someone close to you. Everything may seem pointless and out of kilter. It can feel lonely and isolating when you're grieving like nobody around you understands what you're going through or even cares to try.

The death of Jen's mother has left her feeling isolated from her father, who seems to be in a state of shock. Her mother has become a ghost of her former self. Grief can sometimes bring people together, but in this case, it has only served to widen the gulf between Jen and her dad. Everyone around them seems like a shell of their former selves.

There is something very wrong in this town, based on the fact that all of the parent-child relationships in the movie are creepily off.

There seems to be something lurking in the heart of what's known as the Dead Woods. Most of the backstory surrounding this is kept shrouded in mystery, but it seems that this is the source of whatever is going on.

The Sheep-Man is a supernatural being who can bring people back from the dead, but it comes at a high price. Jen's best friend Louis nicknamed him The Sheep-Man, and he seems to reside in some dark underworld.

John makes a deal with an entity to return Isabel. However, the entity warns John that her mind is still new and needs time to develop.

Dignan is a highly skilled VFX artist who has worked on some of Hollywood's biggest blockbusters, including Thor: Love and Thunder, Elvis, and George Miller's upcoming Furiosa. He has a talent for using light and color to create emotionally powerful visuals, and his work is very striking.

Director Dignan made this Australian horror film on a very tight budget of just $300,000, but he managed to make it look much more expensive than it was. He achieved this by shooting the film during the pandemic, limiting the available resources.

The production design is impressive, and there are plenty of horrifying and well-executed visuals to please gore fans. The mysterious woods where Death itself resides are appropriately creepy and terrifying. The design of the Sheep-Man is impressive, and the voice is effectively menacing and commanding - somewhere between Black Phillip from The Witch and Pinhead from the original Hellraiser.

A slowing down siren accompanies every instance of something horrifying happening, often enough to set off alarm bells in our heads. It's a simple effect, but it contributes to our emotional responses to the scenes, especially when Jen is consumed by horror.

The use of jump scares amplifies an eerie feeling throughout the movie. Additionally, the sound design features body horror noises that make the viewer feel uncomfortable. Nevertheless, after She Died is a compelling film that deals with much damage to the body and soul.

At first, it seemed like the perfect mystery. But over time, a lack of cohesion starts to build.

I found the story to be confusing because it seemed like several different plots were going on at the same time. They didn't seem to mesh well together.

Worth Watching? 

This movie is a unique experience that blends elements of different genres to create a truly harrowing tale. It's part survival thriller, part psychological drama about loss and grief, and part horror film encompassing numerous sub-genres. This makes for a genuinely suspenseful and harrowing ride that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Despite wishing the story was more streamlined, I enjoyed watching this film. I appreciated the passion that went into making it.

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