When the recent wave of supernatural romance crashed upon the shores of popular culture, we learned that there is apparently no creature from the horror genre that cannot be made sexy or adorable when enough creativity is applied. Vampires and werewolves have been regularly flexing their pecs in movies like Twilight and shows like True Blood, and even zombies discovered true love in cute rom-zom-com Warm Bodies.
Because nothing makes for a more sweet and promising relationship than a bit of decomposition, the rom-zom-com genre is making a comeback this year in Life After Beth, the feature directorial debut from I Heart Huckabees writer Jeff Baena, which stars Dane DeHaan (The Amazing Spider-Man 2) as Zach Orfman, a teenager mourning the tragic passing of his girlfriend Beth (Aubrey Plaza). Before long, however, the strange behavior of Beth’s parents (played by John C. Reilly and Molly Shannon) leads Zach to discover that Beth has returned from the dead.
For a while this miracle seems to have no downsides, but the trailer soon sees Beth starting to experience unfortunate resurrection side effects that include super-strength, extreme aggression, rotting flesh and a growing taste for something more than just snack food. Zach’s dedication knows no bounds, however, and he’s determined to keep spending time with Beth – even if he has to tie her to an oven to keep her from attacking him.
In addition to the trailer, A24 Films has also released character posters for Life After Beth featuring DeHaan and Plaza. Look closely and you’ll spot subtle hints at the movie’s true nature.
Life After Beth premiered at Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and received mostly positive reviews, with Variety praising it for “bearing the hallmarks of classic screwball comedy” and describing the chemistry between DeHaan and Plaza as “sparkling.” The film also features a brief performance from Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect), who plays an acquaintance from Zach’s past.
DeHaan is no stranger to the spotlight by this point, and Plaza has been going on adventures into the indie movie genre in titles like Safety Not Guaranteed, alongside her regular role as April Ludgate in Parks and Recreation. Life After Beth definitely has a solid cast in hand and should be worth checking out upon its release later this summer.
Life After Beth is out on limited release starting August 15, 2014.