I blame Cineworld entirely for me watching this bland film. They described it as a 'supernatural thriller' but there is nothing thrilling whatsoever about this film, it is a slow paced drama at best, so is very misleading of Cineworld to say that. Hereafter is directed by Clint Eastwood which was another factor in me deciding to see it.
Hereafter features 3 separate stories that eventually link up. A famous French reporter Marie DeLay is on holiday in Thailand when she has a near death experience and after heading back to Paris decides to quit her well respected job to write a book about the afterlife. Over in London 12 year old Marcus's twin brother Jason gets killed in a car accident. Marcus becomes obsessed with discovering a way to get in contact with his deceased sibling. Finally over in San Francisco a middle aged man; George (played by Matt Damon) struggles to hide his past as a genuine psychic.
The film starts off very well, the opening ten minutes feature a tsunami washing over a coastal town, this is very well done and quite frightening. At this point I was thinking that the film was going to be good. Unfortunately that it is for highlights, the rest of the film is a two hour march towards oblivion. My girlfriend was asleep for about the last hour of the film, I envied her as I certainly wish I had been knocked out rather than watch it.
One of my main problems for this film is the utterly terrible acting. This usually just occurs in the London scenes which take up a third of the film. No one seems able to act at all in these scenes, every single character sounding painfully like they are reading directly off a script held in front of them. The biggest culprits are the twin boys played by Frankie and George McLaren. It is not enough to let them off for being children, there are plenty of good child actors, these are not even actors. At one point one of the twins was holding a sheet of paper (supposedly a programme for a talk he was going to) I swear to god it looked like he was reading his lines off of it!
The soundtrack is irritating as hell, it is a mellow European score that reminds me of bad sitcom holiday specials where the cast all go to Spain. The plot is boring and just seemed to be preaching, begging the audience to join in and be amazed at the notion of an afterlife. No sir, not for me! It tries to tie in real life events such as the Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004 and the London bombings of 2005 and these are its most effective areas but is not enough to engage my attention to the dull lifeless characters. Matt Damon is the best thing about this film, but he should be ashamed for agreeing to co star in such a boring production. I don't recommend this film at all, it is very dull even the supernatural elements, avoid.