Review: ‘Spoiler Alert’ (2022), starring Jim Parsons, Ben Aldridge and Sally Field

December 4, 2022

by Carla Hay

Jim Parsons and Ben Aldridge in “Spoiler Alert” (Photo by Giovanni Rufino/Focus Features)

“Spoiler Alert” (2022)

Directed by Michael Showalter

Culture Representation: Taking place from 2002 to 2015, primarily in New York City (and briefly in New Jersey), the dramatic film “Spoiler Alert” (based on a true story) features a predominantly white cast of characters (with some African Americans and Asians) representing the working-class and middle-class.

Culture Clash: Two gay men, who are almost total opposites, meet and fall in love with each other, but their relationship is tested by mistrust/jealousy issues and when one of the men gets cancer. 

Culture Audience: “Spolier Alert” will appeal primarily to people who are fans of the book on which the movie is based and will appeal to people who are interested in watching a tearjerking drama about love and loss.

Bill Irwin, Sally Field, Ben Aldridge and Jim Parsons in “Spoiler Alert” (Photo by Linda Källérus/Focus Features)

“Spoiler Alert” can get awfully treacly, and the movie’s ending fizzles out in a trite manner, but there are plenty of other things to like about this bittersweet love story. The principal cast members give charming and believable performances. This drama hits a lot of the same, predictable beats of movies about couples whose lives are affected by cancer. However, “Spoiler Alert” offers some unique narrative choices—some that work better than others.

Directed by Michael Showalter, “Spoiler Alert” is based on entertainment journalist Michael Ausiello’s 2018 memoir “Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies.” David Marshall Grant and Dan Savage co-wrote the “Spoiler Alert” screenplay, which is the movie’s weakest link. The screenplay sometimes does a disservice to this true story by cutting to some cutesy and comedic flashbacks in between scenes that are supposed to be emotionally gut-wrenching.

Some of the movie’s supporting characters are shallow stereotypes, but the relationship between the central couple is depicted in a mostly authentic way. Having talented actors playing the main characters also makes a big difference in the appeal of “Spoiler Alert,” which is watchable, but not quite the overwhelmingly beloved crowd-pleaser that it wants to be. People with empathy will be rooting for this couple, despite most viewers being told from the beginning of the film that one person in the relationship will die of a terminal illness.

That’s because the movie “Spoiler Alert” literally does what the book title “Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies” does: It reveals that there’s going to be a major death. The very first scene of “Spoiler Alert” shows Michael Ausiello (played by Jim Parsons) and his husband Christopher “Kit” Cowan (played by Ben Aldridge), who are both in their 40s, huddled together on Kit’s hospital death bed in New York City. Kit (who has rectal cancer) has all the signs of someone with a terminal illness who’s about to die.

Michael can be heard saying in a voiceover: “It wasn’t supposed to end this way, but meeting you in the first place was the plot twist I never expected.” It’s possible that many people seeing this movie will already know in advance that someone in this relationship will die. But many other viewers of “Spoiler Alert” won’t really know that before seeing the movie. And when they see this death bed scene in the very beginning of the movie, it really is a “spoiler” with not much of an “alert.”

The problem with telling viewers from the very beginning that Kit is going to die—especially for people who don’t know this death is going to happen before seeing the movie—is that revealing this information so early will lessen the impact of how the death is depicted toward the end of the movie. It also makes the movie essentally a countdown until this tragic death, because viewers will be bracing themselves for the scenes where Kit and his loved ones find out that he has cancer, he goes though inevitable suffering, and then he dies.

Michael is the narrator of “Spoiler Alert,” so a better movie would have let viewers experience the same rollercoaster of emotions of shock, sadness, hope and fear that Michael experienced with Kit during this cancer journey. But viewers don’t get that perspective, because viewers have been told from the beginning that Kit’s cancer journey does not have a happy ending. You can’t get any clearer when a spouse of a cancer patient looks back on the spouse’s final moments on a hospital deathbed and says about the relationship: “It wasn’t supposed to end this way.”

After this hospital deathbed scene (which the movie circles back to toward the end of the film), “Spoiler Alert” becomes mostly a depiction of Michael and Kit’s 13-year relationship in chronological order, beginning in 2002, the year that they met at a gay bar in New York City. In 2002, Michael is a staff writer for TV Guide, while Kit is an aspiring photographer working a day job at Cosi, a fast-casual restaurant that’s part of a nationwide chain of Cosi restaurants.

As Michael explains in a voiceover, Michael has been obsessed with television since he was child. When he was a kid, he liked to imagine that his life would be like a family sitcom called “The Ausiellos,” which is why all his childhood flashback scenes are filmed like a 1980s sitcom, including having a prerecorded laugh track. In these flashbacks, Michael is shown at about 9 or 10 years old (played by Brody Caines), mostly in his family’s living room watching TV. He has fond memories of watching soap operas with his widowed mother (played by Tara Summers), who would later die of cancer when Michael was still a pre-teen.

Michael is the middle of three brothers. His older brother (played by Braxton Fannin) would sometimes tease or bully young Michael about his chubby physique. Later in the movie, during a scene where Michael and Kit are sexually intimate for the first time, a very nervous and awkward Michael confesses that he has had lifelong body issues. Michael describes himself as “FFK: former fat kid.”

Michael thinks TV Guide is his dream job, and he doesn’t mind working the long hours required. However, his demanding work schedule has left little room for his love life. In 2002, at the urging of a friend/co-worker named Nick (played by Jeffrey Self), Michael goes to a gay club during a theme night called Jock Night, where the patrons are encouraged to dress as athletes. Michael goes to the club in his regular clothes.

Michael and Kit have their “meet cute” moment when they see each other across the room. Kit, who immediately smiles at Michael, is wearing a sweatband and workout clothes, like he just walked out of Olivia Newton-John’s 1981 “Physical” video. They eventually introduce themselves to each other and start talking.

Michael is such a self-described TV nerd, he immediately points out that their names (Michael and Kit) are the same names as the main characters in the 1982-1986 TV series “Knight Rider.” Kit doesn’t really get the joke because he never watched “Knight Rider.” It soon becomes obvious to Michael and Kit that they’re almost complete opposites.

Kit is outgoing and confident. Michael is reserved and insecure. Kit likes to dance. Michael doesn’t like to dance, but he eventually does dance with Kit that night. It’s a classic “opposites attract” situation.

It isn’t long before Michael and Kit start kissing each other at the club. Michael doesn’t want them to go back to his place, so Kit agrees with some hesitation that they should go back to Kit’s apartment. Their first sexual encounter is depicted in a semi-comedic way, because Michael is so anxious about everything. Michael also thinks that Kit is too good-looking for him.

After spending the night together on the first night that they met, Michael and Kit begin dating. During their first dinner date together, they find out even more how different they are from each other. Michael has been openly gay since he was a child. He said his mother knew he was gay when Michael was 8 years old, and she noticed Michael had a crush on the “Days of Our Lives” character Bo Brady. Michael says his mother was completely accepting of Michael being gay.

By contrast, Kit is still semi-closeted. His friends know that he’s gay, but he hasn’t told his parents yet. Kit describes his parents as very traditional. Other contrasts: Michael is a TV fanatic. Kit hardly watches TV. Michael grew up with two brothers, who are never seen or mentioned in the movie as adults. Kit is an only child. Michael says that he believes in marriage, while Kit thinks marriage is an outdated institution.

The rest of “Spoiler Alert” chronicles the ups and downs of the relationship between Kit and Michael. Early on in their romance, Michael says to Kit that they should confess to each other what their childhood obsessions were. Michael says his childhood obsessions were soap operas and Christmas. Kit says his childhood obsession was becoming a magician.

Kit soon discovers that Michael has another obsession stemming from Michael’s childhood. Michael has been avoiding bringing Kit over to Michael’s apartment (Michael lives alone) until Kit insists on seeing where Michael lives. Kit is shocked when he finds out that Michael has a major Smurf obsession: Michael’s entire apartment looks like a cluttered Smurf merchandise store. Michael says his Smurf collection reminds him of when his mother was alive and she used to buy him Smurf memorabilia.

Michael’s Smurf obsession is a quirk that Kit accepts because he and Michael are starting to fall in love at this point. However, later in the movie, when Michael and Kit move in together, they live in an apartment where the overload of Smurf merchandise is no longer there. There are some Smurf memorabilia as decorations, but not to the vast extent that Michael had when he lived alone.

It’s an example of how the movie skips over some details that would give the relationship more depth in the movie, such as if there had been some explanation for why such a big part of Michael’s life is no longer in the home that he shares with Kit. Did Michael put most of his Smurf merchandise in storage? Did he sell most of it? Don’t expect the movie to answer to these questions.

“Spoiler Alert” could have used better character development for the people in Michael and Kit’s social circle. On the night that Michael and Kit met, Kit was with a straight female friend named Nina (played by Nikki M. James), who was drunk. Upon meeting Michael, she blurted out that she has a thing for good-looking gay men like Kit, which Nina says is probably why she’s still single. Nina is nothing but a stereotype of a “straight woman friend of a gay man,” whose only purpose in the movie is to make sassy comments.

When Michael and Kit first began dating, Kit had a roommate named Kirby (played by Sadie Scott), who is also an underdeveloped character, for a better reason. As Kit accurately describes her, Kirby is “monosyllabic.” Kirby’s tendency to say one-word sentences becomes a joke in the movie, which makes Kirby look like a parody of an eccentric roommate.

The “Spoiler Alert” dialogue is the wittiest when it involves Michael and his self-deprecating and sarcastic comments. Parsons (former star of the sitcom “The Big Bang Theory”) has made a career out of playing uptight and insecure nerds, so he’s in familiar territory here, and he does it very well. He navigates the comedic moments, as well as the heavier emotional scenes, with great aplomb. Parsons is also one of the “Spoiler Alert” producers.

People who are pop-culture enthusiasts will have the most appreciation for Michael’s jokes, since he makes references to several movies and TV shows. In a hospital scene, where Kit is getting cancer treatment, Michael has a temper tantrum at a nurse because he wants Kit to have a hospital bed when the nurse says all the hospital beds are already occupied. Michael later quips to Kit that it was his Shirley MacLaine moment. It’s a reference to a similar temper-tantrum scene that MacLaine had in the 1983 film “Terms of Endearment,” but people who don’t know that won’t understand the joke.

Aldridge is perfectly adequate as Kit, although “Spoiler Alert” could have done a better job of telling more about Kit’s life outside of his relationship with Michael. There are vague references to Michael and Kit agreeing to not be monogamous when they first started dating. The movie never really explains if that agreement actually changed over time. There’s a brief subplot of how Michael gets jealous of Kit’s handsome co-worker Sebastian (played by Antoni Porowski), because Michael is afraid that Kit will have an affair with Sebastian.

“Spoiler Alert” has an imbalance in how the movie shows the respective career trajectories of Michael and Kit. Michael eventually becomes the founder/editor-in-chief of TVLine (but the movie doesn’t mention his real-life, two-year stint at Entertainment Weekly), and he is shown actually working more than Kit. Kit’s photography career is depicted in vague terms, with the movie making it look like he did occasional freelance photos shoots for mostly unnamed employers. Kit is shown taking more pictures in his free time (such as when he’s with Michael) than in a job.

The sequence where Michael meets Kit’s parents is played for laughs. Michael and Kit have been dating each other for months (before they moved in together), but Kit wants to keep the relationship and his sexuality a secret from his parents. And so, there’s a scene where Kit (who’s in the hospital for appendicitis) asks Michael to go to his apartment and remove all evidence that Kit is gay before Kit’s parents bring Kit home from the hospital. Michael asks sarcastically, “You want me to de-gay your apartment?”

Kit’s parents Marilyn (played by Sally Field) and Bob (played by Bill Irwin) eventually find out that Kit is gay and in a relationship with Michael. (This isn’t spoiler information, since it’s indicated in the movie’s trailer.) Kit’s parents are accepting of everything, but Marilyn is upset that Kit didn’t tell them sooner that he’s gay.

Marilyn, who is a former long-distance running champ, is very domineering, talkative and opinionated. Her personality is in stark contrast to Bob, who is laid-back, quiet and not as judgmental as Marilyn. Field brings a lot of crackling energy to the Marilyn character, but she has played these types of “mother knows best” type of roles many times before, so there’s nothing very revelatory about her acting skills in “Spoiler Alert.”

“Spoiler Alert” handles the cancer part of the story with a mixture of sensitivity and schmaltz. One of the criticisms the movie might get is that it really erases the hard conversations and tough decisions that a terminal cancer patient must make about preparing loved ones for life after the cancer patient dies. It’s a glaring omission that puts “Spoiler Alert” into some shallow territory.

Before Kit had cancer, he and Michael were having problems in their relationship, but those problems are only vaguely referenced in one or two arguments. In one of these arguments, Michael shouts that he’s fed up with Kit’s marijuana addiction, while Kit accuses Michael of becoming a drunk. The movie doesn’t explore these substance-abuse issues in a meaningful way, even though they were big problems in the relationship. The movie has just one short scene of Michael and Kit in a relationship counseling session with a therapist.

There are the expected scenes of Kit’s hair loss and vomiting from chemotherapy, as well as Michael’s tears and denial about how close Kit is to dying. “Spoiler Alert” has some touching scenes of Michael and Kit spending time with Marilyn and Bob in Kit’s final days. These scenes are among the movie’s highlights, because they look the most natural and not overly staged for a movie.

“Spoiler Alert” has its share of flaws (such as an over-reliance and occasional misplacement of the sitcom-formatted childhood flashbacks), but these flaws don’t ruin the movie. The principal cast members give “Spoiler Alert” a lot of warmth and humanity, in a film that sometimes looks overly contrived. In telling this true story, “Spoiler Alert” at least succeeds in delivering what most viewers want to see in this film: a love story that endured in the midst of some very painful and tragic circumstances.

Focus Features released “Spoiler Alert” in select U.S. cinemas on December 2, 2022, with an expansion to more U.S. cinemas on December 9, 2022.

Review: ‘Here After’ (2021), starring Andy Karl, Nora Arnezeder and Christina Ricci

August 6, 2021

by Carla Hay

Christina Ricci and Andy Karl in “Here After” (Photo courtesy of Vertical Entertainment)

“Here After” (2021)

Directed by Harry Greenberger

Culture Representation: Taking place in New York City, the romantic drama “Here After” features a predominantly white cast of characters (with a few African Americans, Asians and Latinos) representing the working-class and middle-class.

Culture Clash: A dead bachelor is stuck in a purgatory-like existence and is told that he won’t get into heaven unless he can find and get together with his soul mate. 

Culture Audience: “Here After” will appeal primarily to people who don’t mind watching dumb, badly written romantic comedies that have an offensive and ridiculous concept that people’s lives aren’t worthwhile unless they end up with a soul mate.

Nora Arnezeder and Andy Karl in “Here After” (Photo courtesy of Vertical Entertainment)

There are enough bad romantic movies built on the lie that people are worthless unless they’re with a soul mate. The odious “Here After” is even more pathetic because of its concept that people without soul mates can’t go to heaven. If you can tolerate this garbage idea being played out to annoying levels for two hours—which is way too long for a movie that has such a weak story and shoddy filmmaking—then be prepared to sink into the cloying and contrived muck of “Here After.”

Written and directed by Harry Greenberger, “Here After” was previously titled “Faraway Eyes.” The movie’s original title presumably was inspired by a line in the film where one of the characters gives a corny compliment by telling another character that this person has “faraway eyes.” The only thing that’s “far away” when it comes to this movie is anything to do with quality filmmaking.

“Here After” begins with the death of a New York City-based actor named Michael (played by Andy Karl), a bachelor in his 40s. He’s dead because while driving his car on a highway, he stopped the car to reach on his car floor to get a quarter to pay for a toll fare, and he got hit by a truck. And now, the first thing that viewers see in “Here After” is Michael’s bloodied face, as he lies face-up on a mystical gurney, as he spews a rambling monologue about his life.

You know a movie is going to be excruciating to watch when the first line is Michael saying, “Once bread becomes toast, it can never become bread again.” The filmmakers think viewers of this movie are so stupid that somehow people are supposed to believe that toasted bread isn’t bread anymore. Brace yourself for more cringeworthy nonsense because this movie is full of it.

Michael then goes on to describe a sexual encounter when he was 16, with an older redhead named Stephanie. He talks about how his younger sister walked in and saw that Michael was tied to the bed during this encounter. And he was even more embarrassed when his sister told his parents.

What does this story have to do with the rest of this movie? Absolutely nothing. It’s just an example of random things dumped in this movie’s screenplay to try to make the movie look “edgy” and “titillating.” In actuality, “Here After” is filled with tiresome cliché after timesome cliché found in movies about lonely bachelors looking for love.

Michael is transported to a high-rise office that has a bright white glow. All of the injuries that he got from his fatal car accident have now disappeared. It’s in this mysterious office that he meets business-suit-wearing Scarlett (played by Christina Ricci), who tells Michael that he’s dead, and then she proceeds to interview him. Scarlett asks Michael what his last memory was before he died.

This question leads to Michael talking about his most recent breakup. He and his live-in girlfriend Amy (played by Florencia Lozano) were at an airport waiting area to get on a flight for a romantic vacation. But instead of getting on the plane together, Amy (who’s crying and very drunk) decides to break up with Michael.

Amy has had drunken break-ups with Michael before, but this time she means it. Michael sees no point in taking the trip, so he leaves the airport. While driving on the highway, he gets hit by a truck in the accident that killed him.

Scarlett tells Michael, “You’re dead. There are some loose ends … You died single. That left your soul incomplete. Souls cross over in pairs—and only in pairs. You have to find a soul mate.”

And so, most of the movie is about Michael being stuck in a spiritual limbo on Earth, as he looks for his soul mate among all the other spirits who are wandering on Earth. Other dead people in ghost form who are in his same situation make varying degrees of effort to find their soul mates. Some are anxious about it, while others don’t seem to care at all.

Because he’s a ghost, Michael has the ability to travel anywhere on Earth to find his soul mate. But he sticks to the places he knew best when he was alive and looking to meet women: bars and strip clubs in New York City. In other words, this movie didn’t have the budget to film in several other cities.

People who are still alive aren’t supposed to be able to see or communicate with these ghosts, but the ghosts can see people who are still alive. In this purgatory-like existence, the ghosts can move objects, but the ghosts cannot experience material things like they could when they are alive, except for drinking alcohol. They can drink as much alcohol as they want but can’t get drunk. For example, ghosts cannot taste food or use phones to call people who are still alive. If a TV is on in a room, the ghosts only see a blank screen.

According to Scarlett, during this search for a soul mate, sex is not allowed or not possible, because she says the love between soul mates is supposed to be “pure,” and lust can cloud people’s judgment of who’s the correct soul mate. It’s an oddly puritanical part of the movie, considering that this film has nudity and crude sexual talk. Maybe it’s just an excuse for the film not to show ghosts having sex with each other, because even that might be too crazy for this morbid movie that’s about a dead man who falls in love with someone after he dies.

Scarlett randomly shows up from time to time to check on Michael’s progress while he’s on this quest for a soul mate. She says ominous things to warn him that his time is running out, such as what will happen if he doesn’t find a soul mate: “You cease to exist, and the world goes on without you.” Later in the movie, Michael knows his time is running out because he sees his body start to flicker, like a light bulb that’s about to burn out and go dead.

Michael has some boring and uninteresting encounters with female ghosts at some of the nightspots that he visits to try to find his soul mate. One of these women is named Susan (played by Jackie Cruz), who also died in a car accident. Her reaction to Michael is similar to the reactions of almost every woman whom Michael awkwardly approaches: They’re not interested or completely turned off by him.

Michael also goes to his apartment and looks on as his parents (Ray Iannicelli and Jeannie Berlin) and sister Abby (played by Heidi Germaine Schnappauf) go through his possessions to decide which ones to keep and which ones will get thrown out or given away. Michael says out loud, even though no one else can hear him: “I can’t believe I missed my own funeral!”

However, Michael gets some insight into how his family felt about him, as he eavesdrops on their conversation. Michael’s mother expresses disappointment that Michael never fulfilled his dream of being a famous actor. Meanwhile, Michael’s father says that he’s satisfied with how Michael’s life turned out, because all he wanted as a parent was for Michael to be a kind person and true to himself.

At the time of his death, Michael had been set to star in a one-man play (which he also wrote), but he never got the chance to debut the play to the public because he died. However, Michael gets a rude awakening when, as a ghost, he sees that the play’s producer Jay (played by Richard Topol) wants to re-cast the show as soon as it would be appropriate, in order for Jay to not lose his investment. Michael is shocked and insulted because he thought that the play would be shelved, out of respect for his death. It’s an indication of Michael’s naïvety about show business.

The play is the least of Michael’s problems, because he wants to find a soul mate before he becomes someone who will “cease to exist.” So what’s a bachelor ghost who’s unlucky in love to do? Michael visits the apartment of his dead best friend Angelo (played by Michael Rispoli), to see if Angelo is a ghost in the same situation. And what do you know, Angelo is. Unlike neurotic Michael, Angelo isn’t at all concerned about finding a soul mate. Angelo just wants to hang out at his apartment and drink alcohol.

And here’s where the stereotypes really kick in for a movie about a lovelorn bachelor: He has a best friend who’s crude and extremely cynical about love. Angelo checks all the predictable boxes for this type of vulgar character. This is what Angelo has to say about his sexuality as a ghost: “Jerking off is like driving in neutral—ghost dick.”

But there’s an extra layer of creepiness to Angelo because he takes advantage of being a ghost by spying on naked women in gym locker rooms. (And yes, it’s shown in the movie.) Michael has a conversation with Angelo during one of these sleazy voyeur sessions and acts like it’s okay for his best friend to be a Peeping Tom.

The clichés go into overdrive when Michael goes to a bar and meets someone who will be his obvious love interest. She’s a French immigrant, and her name is Honey Bee (played by Nora Arnezeder), which she says is her real name. Michael and Honey Bee start off their “meet cute” moment with some sarcastic banter back and forth.

She tells Michael that she’s an aspiring photographer who makes money as an office worker and a dog walker to pay her bills. She’s at the bar because she’s waiting to meet a friend named Faith (played by Nikki M. James), who’s running late. Romantic sparks fly between Honey Bee and Michael.

But there’s one big problem: Honey Bee is still alive, and Michael can only get out of purgatory with a soul mate who has died. Why is it that Honey Bee can see and talk to Michael? Because she’s psychic and she can see dead people. Somewhere, Haley Joel Osment from “The Sixth Sense” is laughing.

Honey Bee is not just a psychic. She’s also a stereotypical Manic Pixie Dream Girl, the label for a story’s quirky young woman whose sole purpose is to be the love interest of a lonely, usually sad-for-some-reason guy. The Manic Pixie Dream Girl’s offbeat charm is supposed to cheer up the guy, and they fall in love. “Here After” follows this trope in such unoriginal ways, they might as well have given Honey Bee the name Manic Pixie instead.

“Here After” also uses the tedious cliché of pairing a male protagonist who’s older than 40 with a love interest who’s at least 15 years younger. It’s as if the filmmakers think that charismatic and fun-loving women over the age of 40 simply cannot be interesting to men in that same age demographic. When actresses over the age of 40 talk about being shut out of love interest roles by (usually male) filmmakers who think they’re too old, “Here After” is an example of that problem.

The movie throws in a dreadfully written #MeToo subplot of Honey Bee getting stalked by her former boss Patrick (played by Alex Hurt), an arrogant jerk who sexually harassed her when she worked for him as his assistant. She quit that job because she couldn’t take his degrading treatment any longer. Patrick is obsessed with wanting Honey Bee to be his girlfriend. It just checks off another cliché: the “love triangle,” with the third person (who’s usually very jealous) intent on ruining the potential romance between the protagonist and the protagonist’s love interest.

The movie gets much worse as it goes on. And because it telegraphs so early that the only way that Michael can “get to the other side” is if he has a soul mate who is also dead, viewers can easily predict what will happen. How this movie’s “love triangle” is resolved is truly vile. The “Here After” filmmakers obviously think this is a romantic movie, but the way that death is used for tacky plot developments shows how tone-deaf and trashy this movie really is.

It’s too bad that such a talented cast is stuck in this crappy movie. Karl is best known as a Broadway star, but being in “Here After” is not going to increase his chances of getting leading-man roles in quality films. It doesn’t help that Michael has the personality of a slug, and he has to utter awful lines like: “Jesus, Mary and Johnny Weissmuller! What do I have to do to get out of this town?”

Ricci is the most well-known cast member in “Here After.” She’s a very accomplished actress who deserves better than to be in this horrible film. Luckily for her, her total screen time is less than 15 minutes.

As for Arnezeder, she’s stuck playing a “damsel in distress” type who’s afraid to stand up to her stalker because she doesn’t want him to think that she’s rude. Michael has to teach Honey Bee how to be brave when she has to deal with Patrick. Yes, it’s that kind of movie.

“Here After” seems to want to be a romantic classic like 1990’s “Ghost.” But “Here After” is so dreadful, that it gets all of the elements of romance wrong and makes some very misogynistic choices. The character of Michael isn’t the only thing that’s dead in “Here After.” This movie’s entire idiotic concept was dead on arrival.

Vertical Entertainment released “Here After” in select U.S. cinemas, on digital and on VOD on July 23, 2021.

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