A new paranormal thriller will open in the U.S. on October 22nd, called Hereafter. The film, which opened in Toronto on Sunday, has received mixed reviews.
Referring to this film starring Matt Damon, and directed by Clint Eastwood, film critic Roger Ebert wrote:
“Eastwood has made a film for sensitive, intelligent people who are naturally curious about what happens when the shutters close.” - Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert, in his blog from Toronto
Eastwood is no stranger to suspense thrillers. Play Misty for Me was his cinematic directorial debut in 1971. Like Fatal Attraction after it, this film made men leery of one-night stands with women for a while.
In Eastwood’s Hereafter, Matt Damon plays George, a blue-collar factory worker who can communicate with the hereafter – a gift he has trouble coping with. The “reluctant psychic” soon finds himself connected to a French television journalist named Marie (Cecile De France), who writes a book about her near death experience. Both become connected to Marcus, a young boy who has suffered the loss of his sibling Jason. The brothers are played by real-life twins, newcomers Frankie and George McLaren. The film’s synchronistic events lead to the convergences of these three characters from San Francisco, Paris and London, respectively. Crash meets The Sixth Sense comes to mind.
In fact, M. Night Shyamalan-favorite Bryce Dallas Howard (Lady in the Water, The Village) is also in the film’s supporting cast, as a supporter of the psychic abilities displayed by Damon’s character.
Unlike director Shyamalan’s interest in the paranormal, Eastwood stated recently that at the age of 80, he hasn’t given much thought to the afterlife, except that he doesn’t hope to cross over to the other side anytime soon.
It will be interesting to watch Eastwood’s interpretation of this script. Of which, scriptwriter Peter Morgan previously described to the Hollywood Reporter:
“It’s quite spiritual material, and quite romantic, too. It’s the sort of piece that’s not easy to describe and in the hands of different filmmakers could end up as wildly different films. Quite unlike some of my other material, which I think there were only certain ways that you could shoot it.”
Due to the mixed reviews, audiences may either love it or hate it, like last year’s Paranormal Activity, which I loved. I viewed Paranormal Activity with no expectations and with an open mind. What I found was that it was a fun flick with a terrible ending, but by no means was it a waste of my time.
Despite the mixed reviews from the Toronto premiere, I’ll approach Hereafter with no expectations and an open mind.