Life After Beth
Life After Beth is a romantic zombie comedy drama. Or, as anyone fond of cinematic abbreviations might say, a rom-zom-com-dram. Dane DeHaan plays Zach, a grief-stricken teenager who is struggling to cope with the recent death of his beloved girlfriend, Beth (Aubrey Plaza). Not long after the funeral, however, Beth turns up at her parents’ house as if nothing has happened, and it soon becomes clear that something isn’t quite right.
Beth’s zombification is a gradual process – an interesting change to the norm – and Plaza’s committed performance sells the various transitions her character goes through. Unfortunately, though, the film itself is tonally uneven and thinly stretched – even at a relatively brisk 85 minutes – while certain members of the cast seem to be on a different page from everyone else. There are pleasures to be found, including Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s ominous electric-guitar score, but Life After Beth is one or two re-writes away from where it needs to be. [Stephen Carty]