Thursday, 13 February 2014

"The After" Amazon Studios TV pilot, review

A disparate group of characters (French would-be actress, young Hispanic policewoman, Irish yobbo, dodgy lawyer, Revelations-quoting buxom blond, wealthy old lady, black dude with a heart of gold and a BIG shotgun, gay clown/entertainer) have to survive in a post-apocalypse LA. Yes, it's a bit derivative but after 20 minutes, it got me in.
This pilot was written and directed by X-Files' Chris Carter. This will be enough for some people.
In the final scene, the tattooed crab-walking demon/gargoyle/critter will stay with you for quite a while. Some intriguing ideas - the bond of the same birthdays (March 7) and same tattoos as on the critter's body.
Some patchy acting (the yobbo's Irish accent is pretty lame) combined with spectacular crowd scenes (think a scaled-down "World War Z") and tight editing (the tense build up scenes in the elevator and underground carpark) with some witty lines thrown into the mix. No big names. I only recognised Adrian Pasdar (from the spooky "Mysterious Ways" TV series).
The viewer is filled with unanswered questions. What happened? Why these people? How did they skip a day? What was the red-eyed demon spouting (sounds like "Twin Peaks" gibberish) before he scuttled away (think the John Carpenter's "The Thing")?

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