After the Waterfall

After the Waterfall


A New Zealand drama, based on the novel The Paraffin Child by UK author Stephen Blanchard. Set and shot in Piha, on Auckland's beautiful West Coast.... More

Still grieving three years after the disappearance of his four-year-old daughter, forest ranger John (Outrageous Fortune's Antony Starr) has separated from his wife Ana (Sally Stockwell). When Ana becomes pregnant to John's best friend – the policeman in charge of his missing daughter's case – tensions boil to the surface in the isolated community. This is the debut feature from writer-director Simone Horrocks.Hide

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Flicks Review

After the Waterfall is a local film continuing the tradition of exploring fears common to the New Zealand psyche – fear of losing a child, fear of the wilderness, and fear of one’s own emotional capacity.... More

The opening sequence is a barbeque with friends and family, the camera snatching almost impressionistic glimpses of the action, immediately creating a soft, dreamlike vibe that lasts for the duration. The sound design adds so much with so little, capturing the region’s tranquility.

As conveyed by the title, the film is not about the circumstances of a little girl’s disappearance, but what happens to her father as he deals with the aftermath. As this man, Antony Starr is a charismatic presence. His character seems caring but not overly so, as if reluctant to reveal himself. A closed-off world begins to open for him as he decides to lower his guard.

It’s heavy stuff, and the route to redemption is a long slog, both for the characters and the audience. Unfortunately for the film’s final stretch, a couple of moments feel false, whether through awkward dialogue or inconsistent behaviour. The languid pacing, however, allows for the viewer to engage in the atmosphere and make their own observations about the characters and the fears they share.Hide

The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 9 ratings, 10 reviews
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BY Spendup nobody

Thank god for Anthony Star or this film would have been a waste of time, I thought he was very good amongst some very poor acting. The story was far too slow and there is no real ending, it just seems to stop. I agree with a number of reviewers, there were far scenes in the film that were either pointless, went nowhere or didn't contribute anything to the overall story.

BY Deb superstar

in fact grrr grrr grrr about the script. A terrific premise, great surroundings and good performances but why was I sitting there rewriting the thing as I watched?

BY Lillian lister

Great backdrop, and characters.
Really enjoyed it

BY BrionyJae superstar

I went along to this movie not really expecting much, or knowing much about it - and boy was I pleasantly surprised! It is such an interesting delve into the mind of a man who has lost his daughter, and portrays the effects of this beautifully. The cinematic effects are very clever, with moments where all the sound is cut off and morphed into a mind-numbing buzz - which is exactly what grief can do to a person. Lovely scenic NZ shots too. Support the local film industry and see this! :)

After the Waterfall is a movie about a dude (John, played by Anthony Starr) whose life slowly breaks apart after the disappearance of his daughter. Whether the daughter is alive or not is never the main aspect of the film. Instead, the focus is locked on the pain generated from faint hope and the dread of not knowing. Unfortunately, the message drags along at a very dull pace. The actors try their best to breath life to this seemingly bland movie but it never seems to stray past the mantra of a... More 45-minute TV episode stretched to 90 minutes.Hide

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The Press Reviews

  • There’s a European feel to the narrative that is just right for this film. The shooting style is tight and concentrated, the camera and musical score acting as quiet observers as the story carefully unfolds. The drama is captured in small, telling moments, not one of which is wasted. A lot is asked of the actors in After the Waterfall and they all more than deliver, particularly Antony Starr, whose bravura performance is the riveting focal point. Full Review

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