Life After Beth

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Life After Beth
Life After Beth poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jeff Baena
Produced by Michael Zakin
Liz Destro
Written by Jeff Baena
Cinematography Jay Hunter
Edited by Colin Patton
Distributed by A24
Release dates
  • January 19, 2014 (2014-01-19) (Sundance)
  • August 15, 2014 (2014-08-15) (United States)
Running time
89 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $2.4 million[citation needed]
Box office $246,804[2]

Life After Beth is a 2014 American zombie comedy film written and directed by Jeff Baena. The film stars Aubrey Plaza, Dane DeHaan, Anna Kendrick, Molly Shannon, Cheryl Hines, Paul Reiser, Matthew Gray Gubler, and John C. Reilly. The film premiered in competition at 2014 Sundance Film Festival on January 19, 2014[3] given a limited release on August 15, 2014.[4]


After his girlfriend Beth dies from a snake bite while on a hike, Zach is devastated. After Beth's funeral, Zach begins to spend time with Beth's parents Maury and Geenie as a source of comfort. While playing chess with Maury, Zach reveals that he and Beth were having problems in their relationship and that she had expressed desire to see other people in the days before she died.

Maury and Geenie stop answering the door or phone. Zach goes to their house and sees Beth through a window. He attempts to break in, but her parents call Zach's brother Kyle, who is a security officer and escorts Zach off the premises. The next day, he goes to Beth's grave and sees a large hole as though something burrowed out of the grave. He breaks into Beth's house and discovers Beth's parents had been hiding her. Her parents explain that soon after the funeral Beth suddenly appeared and aside from having no memory of the past week, appears and sounds completely normal.

Beth's parents are reluctant to let her leave the house, especially during daytime. They refuse to explain to Beth that she is dead and she remains unaware. A daytime date in the park results in Beth getting blisters on her face - seemingly from the sun. Later Zach takes Beth to the beach after sneaking her out of her bedroom window. However, when he tries to sing her a song he wrote she gets violent and breaks apart a lifeguard station. He discovers that easy listening smooth jazz is the only way to calm her down.

Zach starts to notice people around town acting strangely similar to Beth, who has grown increasingly violent and has mood swings. He realises he cannot handle her violent tendencies, especially after she flies into a violent and jealous rage when she sees him having lunch with his childhood friend Erica. Zach explains to Beth that she died and somehow came back, she doesn't believe him until he takes her to her grave. While at the gravesite, Zach attempts to break up with Beth, but she grows angry and steals his car. Zach walks home to discover that his dead grandfather is resurrected and has returned to his parents house, closely followed by the previous owners of the house. Maury picks up Zach and tells him that Beth is extremely upset so he must tell her that he lied about her death and promise to be with her forever. Zach refuses, but relents after Maury agrees to call his former housekeeper, who is Haitian, to see if she has any information about the unusual events. Zach attempts to talk to Beth, but after she eats a neighbor, he drives away with her in the car.

He goes to Beth's housekeeper's apartment, where he is told the real reason she left had nothing to do with zombies. Maury appears, knocks Zach out, and takes Beth. After Zach wakes up, he goes to his house to look for his family, but instead finds a stranger in his house and burned bodies in the backyard. Believing his entire family is dead, Zach packs a bag and prepares to leave the state. As he's leaving, he drives past the park where he and Beth had their date when she came back, he instead turns around and goes to Beth's house. He discovers that she is now a full-fledged zombie who has eaten her father and has been tied to a stove by her mother, who can no longer control her. Zach convinces her mother to leave reassuring her that he will take care of Beth. He calms Beth down by telling her that he will go on a hike with her like she always asked him to. As they're leaving, they run into Kyle, who reveals that Zach's family escaped and are in a safe house. Kyle attempts to shoot Beth, but Zach protects her. Kyle agrees to let them escape, but tells Zach that he has to let Beth go and gives him his gun.

On their hike Beth and Zach stop to look at the view, Zach cries and apologizes to Beth for never wanting to go hiking with her or go dancing like she always wanted. He tells her he's happy she came back and he will always love her. They say "I love you" to each other and, while Beth is looking away, Zach shoots her in the head. Zach goes to the safe house, where he finds his family, with a traumatized Erica. They make plans to escape, but a TV news story shows that things are returning to normal.

Some time later, Zach visits Beth and Maury's graves one final time. He leaves Beth's scarf, which he kept after her death, on her tombstone, along with a knight chess piece on her father's tombstone. The movie ends when Zach makes a date with Erica.



Principal photography began July 8, 2013 in Los Angeles[5] and concluded on August 6, 2013 in Los Angeles.[6]


Critical response[edit]

Life After Beth received mixed reviews. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 46% rating, with an average score of 5.4/10 based on 82 reviews. The site's consensus states, "In spite of Aubrey Plaza's committed performance, Life After Beth remains a sketch-worthy idea that's been uncomfortably stretched to feature length."[7] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 based on reviews from critics, the film has a score of 50 out of 100 based on 30 reviews, indicating "mixed or average" reviews.[8]


  1. ^ "LIFE AFTER BETH (15)". Koch Film. British Board of Film Classification. August 27, 2014. Retrieved August 27, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Life After Beth (2014)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Sundance 2014: U.S. Dramatic Competition". Retrieved April 14, 2014. 
  4. ^ Shaw-Williams, H. (June 26, 2014). "‘Life After Beth’ Trailer: Aubrey Plaza is the Zombie Next Door". ScreenRant. Retrieved June 26, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Zombie Comedy ‘Life After Beth’ Adds Cast As Production Begins". 16 July 2013. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  6. ^ "Aubrey Plaza And John C. Reilly's Zombie Comedy Life After Beth Wraps Star-Studded Production". September 17, 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  7. ^ "Life After Beth (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes Flixster. Retrieved August 27, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Life After Beth Reviews". Metacritic CBS. Retrieved August 27, 2014. 

External links[edit]