Top 5: Creative Takes on the After-Life

Posted on August 22, 2013 by Amy Henthorn under Top 5 List
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On those rare occasions that I have the house to myself, or an evening alone with the remote, my very favorite thing to do is pop a bowl of buttery goodness and find a great movie.  I love movies.  I especially love movies that evoke feelings or thoughts outside of the box.  So, for the sake of this blog, I started thinking about movies that present fresh ideas about death.  Morbid, you say?  Not so quick… look at these 5 examples of new takes on our last breath:

1.  Meet Joe Black .  This is a story about Death taking a human form to enjoy all the goodness of Life. He is sent to “take” a life, but while he is here, he experiences love, power, success, and friendship. Besides the fact that the dashing Brad Pitt is adorable as Death incarnate, I like the idea that Death comes to take us from this world… Maybe it makes the whole event seem a little less lonely.

2.  Ghost:  What would it take for you to recognize your loved one in someone else’s body? This is a story about a dead husband who “comes back” to protect his wife from the people who killed him.  However, he speaks to her through a crazy psychic played by Whoopie Goldburg.  This love story gives us a whole new take on the guardian angel idea, and the chance to make up for missed goodbyes.

3.  Weekend at Bernies: No, it doesn’t fit with the other four movies, but you’ve got to love a movie where the dead guy sees more action that most of us see in a lifetime!  The irreverent absurdity of this movie gives us a chance to laugh at the unthinkable, and takes a little bit of the heaviness out of the subject of death.

4.  The Sixth Sense:  One of M. Night Shyamalan’s greatest shock/wow/surprise endings ever.  What if we don’t know when we die?  What if we think we are still living, but everyone else knows we are dead?  This is a story about the afterlife and what happens to all those loose ends we leave behind.  It offers the possibility that in the afterlife we all get a chance for closure.

Sixth Sense

(note: picture will link to a clip on youtube.com)

5.  City of Angels: If faced with the decision, would you choose to live forever, or to love fully? This is a love story about an angel who falls in love with a human, and ultimately chooses humanity over eternity, and the joy and pain that comes with his decision.  Since death is not an option for most of us (at least that I am aware of!), it is compelling to consider having a choice between this life and another… and you can fast-forward the scene with Dennis Franz’s naked backside without missing the story.

What about you?  What is your favorite movie about the uncertainties of our last breath?  Is there a movie that has you thinking about what happens between here and the After-Life?

Amy Henthorn

Amy is a Columbus native with a Journalism degree from Otterbein University. She came to Schoedinger in 2009 as a chapel administrator, and is currently the advance planning coordinator. She enjoys writing, reading, and spending time with her family.

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