I haven’t posted a review in a while but when I heard of this short movie, I just had to do one. From Wagyu Films comes their first officially released movie and whilst it’s a short it’s bloody good.
What is it?
AFTERLYFE is a horror movie that pulls no punches and in its 20 minute run down has more scares and excellent world building than most of the crap coming out of Hollywood these days.
Created by a small studio and on a low budget the movie does an impressive job of both looking like a much bigger budget production and fully immersing in the viewer.
A Short Movie with a Tall Reach
It doesn’t pull any punches; its short run time doesn’t allow for that and that is one of its strengths. It wastes no time diving into the action by setting up the scene that is both mysterious and immediately scary.
With all that’s being on regarding the Covid pandemic, the opening shot of a man waking up inside a body bag in a dark hospital room with an oxygen mask on his face taps into the fears over the virus. It also gives the movie a 28 Day Later vibe which I absolutely love.
It’s creepy AF
Our as yet unnamed protagonist frees himself from the body bag to discover that there are people in similar bags all around him. The lightning is excellent as the man leaves his room and begins to explore the oppressively dark hospital.
As he ventures down a corridor, he sees other rooms containing other ‘patients. In one room he encounters a man covered in bandages who gives a disturbing performance as someone who is absolutely petrified.
This is where I have to mention the music in this movie. It’s subtle and creepy rising and ebbing in perfect unison with the tension on screen. The tension builds and a female voice cuts into the eerie quiet, that made me jump. The hero finds a walkie talkie and asks the woman questions about his situation, her answers are vague adding to the sense of uneasiness. We learn that the hero had been in a car accident, but the woman says, ‘this isn’t a hospital’. A WTF moment if ever there was one.
The script is great with the exchanges between the man and woman in particular believable and unnerving. The horror aspect itself is done better than some big budget movies with a particular scene of ‘something’ stalking the dark corridors genuinely creeping me out. It definitely succeeds in its attempts to scare and does it in a way that doesn’t rely on obvious jump scares and over the top gore.
A scene where the hero encounters another ‘survivor’ who is armed is perfect as it subverts much of the audiences’ expectations as we realise this isn’t just another zombie survival movie. In fact, that scene flips things on its head entirely to the point where I then felt concern for the ‘survivor’ more than the protagonist. Needless to say, the thing we saw earlier stalking the corridors makes another appearance and its suitably horrific.
To say any more about the plot would ruin the twist and shocking revelations, in short, the writing was great. There was only one point where I could see the twist coming, which as any writer trying to throw an audience off the scent of a big reveal can attest is incredibly hard to pull off.
If this review has piqued your interest, then watch it below!
Is it worth a watch?
Yes! For a debut movie Afterlyfe is excellent and I can’t wait to see more from Wagyu studios. They plan to release more short horror movies as well as a full length movie called Patriarch that looks very promising.
Final Verdict – 9/10