by Jim Ridley
The locally produced thriller After doesn't open in theaters until Sept. 14, but the filmmakers are celebrating its impending release with an invitation-only red-carpet premiere Sunday night at the Carmike Thoroughbred 20 in Cool Springs.
Confirmed for the 7 p.m. event are stars Steven Strait (Magic City), Karolina Wydra (House), Sandra Lafferty (The Hunger Games), Madison Lintz (The Walking Dead) and April Billingsley (The Vampire Diaries); Michael W. Smith; Nashville Predators forward Mike Fisher; Tennessee Titans QB Matt Hasselbeck; and Italian model and actress Isabelle Adriani.
As for the movie, here's what Jason Shawhan wrote when it showed at this year's Nashville Film Festival:
Following a meet-cute shattered by a catastrophic accident, After wastes no time immersing us in the lives of two individuals who may be the only people in the world. Since there's a giant wall of swirling evil slowly contracting around them, the metaphorical race is on. As with most suspense/otherworldly thrillers, you find yourself hoping that it's not going to settle for a dumb twist or rote predictability: the exciting surprise is how smartly co-writer/director Ryan Smith avoids those pitfalls. The lead performance from Magic City up-and-comer Steven Strait is great, and Nashville's Magnetic Dreams devised some remarkably good special effects (including a first-rate monster): a couple of simply magnificent images of weird, surreal power will stay with you. Some dialogue rings a little flat, and some narrative transitions seem a bit too on the nose, but it's been ages since we've had a local effort this strong.