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Life After Beth


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/Horror/Comedy/Romance, USA, 2014, 91 min.

Tagline Some girls just want to watch the world burn.

Synopsis In the opening shot, a woman named Beth Slocum (Aubrey Plaza) is walking through the woods while looking at her phone. She looks back, thinking she heard something, then continues walking.Her boyfriend Zach Orfman (Dane DeHaan) is out at the supermarket looking for black napkins. He has to settle for beige napkins. He goes to Beth's funeral, as she has died from a snake bite. Everyone gives Zach their condolences. Later, he goes to Beth's home to play chess with her parents, Maury and Geenie (John C. Reilly and Molly Shannon). Maury takes out a joint and smokes it with Zach. Zach admits that he and Beth had some problems in their relationship before she died. Maury says that Beth's last words to him was to stop being annoying. He tells Zach that they shouldn't let things like that define the entire relationship they had with someone. Geenie gives Zach one of Beth's scarves as a keepsake.Despite his family's advice to move on, Zach is still a wreck. The Slocums stop contacting Zach and ignore his calls. He goes over to visit them, but they won't let him in. One afternoon, he peeks through the window and sees what he thinks is Beth walking through the halls. Zach freaks out and pounds on the door. His brother Kyle (Matthew Grey Gubler), who is a security officer, comes over and threatens to have Zach arrested. To fuel his suspicions further, he visits Beth's grave and sees a big hole in the ground.Zach finally manages to get into the Slocum house, even as Maury tries to push him away. He sees Geenie trying to push Beth into the closet, forcing them to come clean. Zach is both elated and alarmed to see his girlfriend alive. Beth has no memory of being dead, claiming that she has a test to study for the next day. She also mistakes Zach's questioning as thinking he believes she cheated on him or that he wants to break up. Against her parents' orders, Zach decides to spend time with Beth, swimming with her and going to the park to have sex. He does happen to notice the snake bite in her skin, and she later goes home with a blistering sore on her cheek.One evening, Zach takes Beth to the beach. He begins to serenade her with a song he wrote, but she hates it so much to the point where it pisses her off. She starts breaking off the lifeguard stand, causing it to catch fire. Zach tries to calm her down and takes Beth back to the car. He barely turns around for a second before she breaks the window with her elbow, thinking he was already trying to abandon her.People in town start behaving oddly, exhibiting similar mood swings and spaced-out behavior like Beth. Needing a break from Beth, Zach goes to a diner. There, he sees an old childhood friend, Erica Wexler (Anna Kendrick). She sits with him and she gives her condolences to him over Beth. Zach has a hard time telling her what's going on and that he has now preferred that Beth stay dead. After they finish their meal, Zach accidentally runs Beth over with his car. She is okay, but when people try and help her, she screams at them and scares them off. She even frightens Erica after thinking Zach has replaced her. Zach then takes her to her grave and tells the truth about her death. This makes her angrier and she steals his car.Zach walks home and sees Kyle and their parents panicking, since Zach's dead grandfather is sitting in their living room, now a reanimated corpse. Then enters the previous owners of the house. Kyle tries shooting at them, but they don't go down. In fact, they're not flesh-hungry zombies, just cranky undead people. Maury then comes to get Zach and tell him that it's his fault this is happening since he went and told Beth about her death. He wants Zach to lie to her and tell her he made up the story about her death. They resolve to have Maury call their former housekeeper, Pearline, to see if she may know anything about stopping zombies, purely based on the fact that Pearline is Haitian. They go back to the Slocum house, where Beth breaks through the window and comes back with her face caked in blood. Zach brings her in the car.Zach goes to a motel to find Pearline, only to find her cousin there, who thinks it's offensive that anyone would assume they know about voodoo or zombies because they're Haitian. The cousin says Pearline had nothing to do with what's happening and that she quit working for the Slocums because Maury wanted her to walk around naked. Zach is left without any answers. Maury shows up, knocks Zach out, and takes Beth home.When he returns home, Zach finds someone in his home, who then runs away. Outside in the backyard are burnt corpses, leading Zach to assume his family is dead. He packs his bags and prepares to get out of town, though he has a change of heart and goes back to Beth's home. She has officially turned into a mindless bloodthirsty zombie, having eaten Maury which led to Geenie tying her to the stove. Zach convinces Geenie to let him take Beth with him. He tells her they're going on a hike. Outside, Kyle shows up, shooting any zombies in his path. He tells Zach that their parents are alive and are hiding in a safe house. He gives Zach his gun and tells him he needs to let Beth go.Zach takes Beth on a hike, when they get to a cliff and stop to check out the view. He tearfully apologizes for not doing all the things Beth wanted to do when she was alive. He tells her he loves her, and Beth is able to mutter "I love you too." He shoots Beth in the head, and her body tumbles down the hill with the stove crushing her as it goes down with her.Zach finds the safe house, reuniting with his family, and he sees that Erica has joined them after her own mother turned into a zombie. She was forced to kill her, leaving her traumatized. The news comes on, with a report that although things look messed up, people seem to be going back to normal.Zach's mom takes him and Erica to the graveyard where he visits Beth's and Maury's graves. He leaves Beth's scarf on her grave. They leave, and Zach asks Erica out to dinner. She accepts and smiles as his mom drives them away.

Directed by Jeff Baena  

Starring Aubrey Plaza, Dane DeHaan, John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon, Cheryl Hines, more...

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