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Film / After (2012)

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After is a 2012 science-fiction thriller film written and directed by Ryan Smith and starring Steven Strait and Karolina Wydra.

Ana and Freddy meet as the only passengers on a bus returning to their hometown. They discover they lived down the street from each other and never knew each other. Suddenly there's a noise and- ... -Ana wakes up in her home and drives to her job as a nurse, but the town is completely empty. That evening she hears loud rock music from down the street and finds Freddy, who was also assuming he was alone. What has happened to everyone?


Tropes in this film:

  • The Alleged Car: Their car has trouble starting when the plot demands it.
  • Adventures in Comaland: The Reveal.
  • Asleep for Days: Ana has been. Freddy has been for even longer.
  • Artistic License – Medicine: When Ana pulls all her leads off and climbs out of the hospital bed, alarms should have gone off in the room and at the nurse's station. Tropes Are Tools, though - this is done to make the audience wonder if Ana is in another passive dream sequence until the point the staff notices her on her feet.
  • Broken Heel: Played straight - Ana trips on the way out of the fog, giving the monster a chance to catch up.
  • Captain Oblivious: Ana, going to work.
  • Chekhov's Skill: At the carnival, Freddy stinks at shooting, but Ana does great with the water cannon. When the trap doesn't go off, Freddy can't hit the trap with the gun, but Ana hits it straight off.
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  • Create Your Own Villain: Sort of; the Monster is a creature from Ana's childhood play. Also a manifestation of their mutual guilt over the death of Ana's aunt.
  • Darkest Hour: for Ana - she's ill, Freddy has been dragged off by the monster, and her time is short.
  • Dead All Along: Discussed as a possibility by Ana and Freddy. It turns out they're actually just on life support, having a shared dream.
  • Exact Time to Failure: As the fog wall closes in - three days. They eventually discover that's when the doctors will turn off Ana's life support.
  • Hard-Work Montage: As Freddy builds the trap.
  • Meet Cute: Freddy puts the moves on the only girl on the bus almost immediately, Ana attempts to brush him off at first.
  • Monster Delay: For a good while the only part of the monster you see is his chain.
  • Most Writers Are Writers: Freddy illustrates comic books. Ana writes plays.
  • Spreading Disaster Map Graphic: A hand-drawn example, made by Freddy to illustrate how the fog is closing in around the mysterious door and (later) to estimate how far the monster's chain can reach.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Averted. Freddy explains his plan to Ana offscreen, but it doesn't work.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Or lack of sights/sounds. Ana seems to have driven across town, parked in the parking garage, entered the hospital, and gotten to her workstation to check paperwork all before noticing there wasn't a single other human being around.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Ana leaves a splatter on the floor.
  • Wicked Stepmother: Averted - Freddy's stepfather is actually caring and kind. It's his off-screen biological mother who seems to be the mean one.

Alternative Title(s): After