Zombie movies have been a largely overused facet of the horror genre for decades without much deviation, but lately we've started to see filmmakers take the idea in some fun new directions. Of course there was Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland which played up the familiar aspects of zombie movies in a comedic way, and last year's Warm Bodies gave us a romantic twist on the formula. Following a similar path is Jeff Baena's zombie rom-com Life After Beth, which debuted at Sundance and has now just released its first trailer.
Aubrey Plaza and Dane DeHaan play the couple at the center of this one, with him as a guy who desperately wants to get back together with his ex-girlfriend, Beth. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, he gets that opportunity when she is killed and returns as a slowly deteriorating zombie with total amnesia. Baena has pulled together a great supporting cast with Paul Reiser, John C. Reilly, Anna Kendrick, Molly Shannon, Cheryl Hines, and Matthew Gray Gubler, but it's Plaza who really steals the show in what I believe is her finest work since Safety Not Guaranteed. Overall the film was too inconsistent to make the best use of such a fun idea, saying in my review it "lies somewhere in the unimpressive middle" of the growing zom-com genre.
Life After Beth hits theaters on August 15th.
PLOT: Zach is devastated by the unexpected death of his girlfriend, Beth. When she miraculously comes back to life, Zach takes full advantage of the opportunity to experience all the things he regretted not doing when she was alive. However, the newly returned Beth isn’t quite the way he remembered her, and before long, Zach’s world takes a turn for the worse.