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DVD Review: After

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When a filmmaker decides to mash up a particular blend of genres all under the roof of one movie, all that's left to chance is to chuck it to the wolves (that's us, people) and see if they chew it up or turn their noses in disgust. Enter Ryan Smith's AFTER.

Originally released in 2012, the movie centers around two complete strangers named Ana and Freddy who are riding on a bus, engaging in a bit of staggered conversation (I prefer to act like I'm asleep to avoid such encounters) when the bus becomes cloaked in an absolutely horrific crash, and when Ana finally comes to after awhile, she finds out that she's the only one around in this mysterious little town. After a bit, she locates Freddy, and the two soon find themselves on the run from a rather hellacious black-cloud of doom (no, I'm not talking about the bus schedule), and a rather nasty creature that resides in the traveling mist.

What happens next is somewhat of a bummer for creature/horror film fans, and while I'll keep my yap-trap shut as exactly what the spoiler is, it however doesn't detract from the effectiveness of the film's plot - I really found that it enhanced it to an extent. We get to see a connection between the two characters that goes quite a bit past the "horror film survivor's group" -now, don't all you inmates go thinkin' that I'm getting soft on you - I won't be renting THE NOTEBOOK any time soon. I just think, that as I alluded to earlier, that when you toss a few different sub-genres under the roof of the horror-dome, there's a 50/50 chance of the success rate among fans and critics alike, and this one for me was very well done.

Director Smith, a self-admitted "not much of a horror-fan", still manages to capture more than enough elements of the scares and chills to their fullest advantage, and with an ample dosage of sci-fi tactics, brings the movie to a head. Gloom and doom, heroic stances, and maybe even a bit of a budding, I'm not tearing up...there's barbed wire in my eye, dammit! Seriously, AFTER is a midnight watch with the one you love (self or otherwise) - it's got a little bit of everything and is a rather entertaining horror watch from a guy who's not really into horror - go figure!

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