“Afterlife of the Party” Movie Review

Story posted September 7, 2021 in

The Stephen Herek directed film "Afterlife of the Party" is a disorganized but passable film about righting one's wrongs that is held back by a lack of direction. Victoria Justice stars in the Netflix original.

Herek is best known for directing "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" and has had a 30+ year career directing lesser-known movies. Many of his choices in this film are very questionable and are directed towards a younger audience.

Despite being significantly older, the former Nickelodeon star acts as if she is still playing Tori Vega. Justice does an average job with the material, and her performance is nothing noteworthy.

Justice's character, Cassie, is a social butterfly and will take almost every opportunity to go out, disregarding the people who are closest to her. While celebrating her birthday, she gets into a blowup argument with her best friend, Lisa. The fight feels forced and is included to drive the plot.

The following day, Cassie slips and dies by hitting her head on the side of her toilet seat.

Now that Cassie is dead, she is stuck in a modern interpretation of purgatory where she has to make peace with the three most important people in her life to get into heaven. These people are her best friend, her estranged mother, and her distant father. Cassie has five days to check these people off her list that her guardian angel "Val" assigned. If she doesn't, she may get into the great beyond.

The rules in this movie are confusing. No one can hear or see Cassie except animals and only people closest to her. This happens to be her best friend, her father, and randomly her half-sister that she had never even met before. She can also move around objects in the real world, but only a few people seem to notice this. When her friend sees her, she is taken aback as Cassie has been dead for a year. When her father sees her, almost no reaction is given, making it super awkward.

"Afterlife of the Party" had no reason to be an hour and 49 minutes long. The movie wastes so much time developing useless romantic plot points and annoying montages.

It also focuses on this random fake pop artist who soundtracks half of the movie. It is beyond annoying considering the tracks are beyond mediocre. The music comes in at some of the weirdest times. It is overbearing, and it's hard to hear some lines of dialogue.

The visual effects are very outdated, and every time Cassie teleports, it is honestly embarrassing. The worst is when she changes dresses with her new magic abilities, and the result is beyond horrifying.

The tonality of the film is also confusing. It tries to act serious half the time, and the other half is a goofy slap-stick comedy that tries to appeal to no one over the age of 20. It attempts to teach viewers a lesson, but the movie is so corny and predictable that it loses all value.

From beginning to end, "Afterlife of the Party" is meaningless. There is no replay value, and it is a total waste of time and energy. Netflix once again did not deliver and is bloating their platform with simple-minded content.

Rating: 1 / 5

 

Caelan Chevrier is a second-year majoring in journalism. To contact him, email cjc6789@psu.edu.

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Caelan Chevrier

Second Year / Journalism

Caelan Chevrier is a second-year student in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State University studying broadcast journalism and marketing with the goal of graduating with a bachelor’s degree in four years. His plan is to get involved in numerous media-related clubs during his stay. His career goal is to spread informative, meaningful and entertaining content across various platforms and to be a positive impact on the community. He has also spent time working at The Westport Local Press in his hometown of Westport, CT. If you’d like to contact him, email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).