No movie springs from a vacuum. There are always influences from past examples of the genre, from the previous work of the filmmakers and stars, even from similar films that don’t quite work. If you want to understand where a movie is coming from, take a look at where it’s coming from.
In Hereafter, Matt Damon sees dead people, but doesn’t want to, and is on a collusion course with a French woman (Cecile De France) and a British boy who have also had a taste of the afterlife. This flick sprang from (among other films):
• The Sixth Sense (1999), in which Bruce Willis’s child psychologist helps a young Haley Joel Osment cope with his ability to talk to dead people.
• Syriana (2005), for more of Matt Damon navigating realms of grief; here, the death of his little boy paves the way for a high-priced oil deal.
• High Tension (aka Switchblade Romance) (2003), for more of the fantastic Cecile De France, who’s mostly known in her homeland of France, in this slasher film with more of a twist than most.
• The Bridges of Madison County (1995), for more of director Clint Eastwood in sentimental mode; he directed this gauzy romance, and also stars as a photographer who has a brief, intense affair with Meryl Streep’s lonely Iowan housewife.
Where to buy:
The Bridges of Madison County [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
High Tension (aka Switchblade Romance) [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
The Sixth Sense [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Syriana [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]