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5 of the best afterlife movies off the beaten path

Updated on December 20, 2014

Why this genre?

Movies that deal with the road towards death and the afterlife have always fascinated me. In it there is both room for the scientific and the mystical. There is room for humor, tragedy, horror and beauty.

Why these movies?

Below you'll find a list in which I've tried to incorporate some good movies beyond the scope of the well known ones such as The Sixth Sense, Ghost and What Dreams May Come. With this I hope to introduce fans to some often-overlooked gems. :)

The List!

In random order

What they say (courtesy of A young woman caught between life and death... and a funeral director who appears to have the gift of transitioning the dead, but might just be intent on burying her alive. What I say: Is she alive and is the funeral director a homicidal maniac, or does he really help the recently departed with their transition to the afterlife? You decide! I love movies with a controversial ending :)
Grave of the Fireflies
Grave of the Fireflies
What they say (courtesy of A tragic film covering a young boy and his little sister's struggle to survive in Japan during World War II. What I say: Gripping and powerful. Don't be fooled by the fact that this is an animated film. Be prepared to shed a tear or two even if you aren't one to normally cry during a movie.
Beetlejuice (20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)
Beetlejuice (20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)
What they say (courtesy of A couple of recently deceased ghosts contract the services of a "bio-exorcist" in order to remove the obnoxious new owners of their house. What I say: One of Tim Burton's earlies with a very light and funny take on the afterlife. Go watch it and marvel at how thin Alec Baldwin used to be ;)
What they say (courtesy of A mysterious video kills whoever views it, unless that viewer can solve its mystery. What I say: Japanese horror that like most of its genre differs a lot from traditional western horrors that rely mostly on scare-moments for their thrills. The sense of foreboding throughout the entire movie is very well transfered to the viewer. To my surprise the American remake actually stayed very close to the source material and is a good alternative if you're not into a subtitled Japanese version.
Jacob's Ladder [DVD]
Jacob's Ladder [DVD]
What they say (courtesy of A traumatized Vietnam war veteran finds out that his post-war life isn't what he believes it to be when he's attacked by horned creatures in the subway and his dead son comes to visit him. What I say: Horror/Thrillers usually have a knack for trying to throw the viewer off and this is no exception. Some movies don't get away with it and leave the viewer too confused to keep their interest. Suffice it to say this one gets away with it :)

Jacob's Ladder Outtake

Grave of the Fireflies Trailer

Beetlejuice Outtake

Ringu Trailer

After.Life Trailer

Credits for the links and thumbnails. for the What They Say segments. for the videolinks.

Guestbook Comments

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    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I watched Beetlejuice again a couple of weeks ago. I'd forgotten just how funny a movie about the afterlife can be!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      9 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I like your reviews!


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