Should audiences watch After Blue (Dirty Paradise)?

After Blue - Courtesy Altered Innocence
After Blue - Courtesy Altered Innocence /

French sci-fi horror film After Blue (Dirty Paradise), directed by Bertrand Mandico, will soon be released in limited locations in the United States. A significant question that often comes with foreign horror movies like this is if it is a film that audiences should check out.

The world of After Blue (Dirty Paradise) begins in the distant future where civilization has moved from the planet Earth to a planet named After Blue. However, people discover that only women can survive on the planet after they arrive. The film After Blue (Dirty Paradise) takes place years after this where the lead of the film, a teen named Roxy, frees a woman named Kate Bush, who in turn kills other teenage members of Roxy’s group. As a result, the civilization that Roxy calls home declares that Roxy and her mother, Zora, are banished until they have murdered Kate Bush, while at the same time Roxy is being haunted by the girls whom Kate Bush had murdered.

It is important to note that this film will not be for everyone. I’d go as far as to say that this film is not meant for most people. There is extreme nudity, sexuality and gore. These things will most certainly turn some people away instantly, which is okay, but it is necessary to mention off the top. While I believe that everyone should be open-minded to these things, everyone has varying levels of comfortability.

After Blue
After Blue – Courtesy Altered Innocence /

Getting back into the actual film, a massive thing that After Blue (Dirty Paradise) has going for it is just how intriguing and unique the story is. The whole time watching the movie, I wanted to know more about the planet of After Blue and who this mysterious woman Kate Bush truly is. Questions may have not always been answered clearly, but the film does a good enough job of giving hints and clues that these unanswered questions don’t linger too much even after the credits roll. The story also thankfully has narration throughout most of it, so not only are you getting a deeper understanding of the psyche of Roxy, but you are also given an explanation of specific moments that are particularly confusing and abstract.

While the plot may provide some extreme benefit to the film, it is also where the problem with After Blue (Dirty Paradise) lies, as the film is way too long. At 129 minutes, the plot of After Blue (Dirty Paradise) sadly doesn’t justify this runtime, which especially starts to drag with the film’s second half. This is disappointin, because some fascinating story elements are introduced that end up going nowhere, in favor of exploring things that are way less interesting. One example of this is the way the groups of women are separated, which is super fascinating, and in the beginning, it feels like this will be a significant plot point. Sadly, it is rarely discussed as the film goes on and certainly not explored as much as one would expect given the setup.

After Blue
After Blue – Courtesy Altered Innocence /

Focusing solely on the story would be a major disservice to this film, as it’s certainly not the only thing After Blue (Dirty Paradise) has going for it;  the visuals and sounds are just as important. The environment of After Blue magnificently plays off the senses, with the planet truly being a sight to behold. The visuals that this planet provides are stimulating, the sounds are incredible, there are even moments where you feel like you can imagine what it would be like to touch and smell the planet. The stimulating nature of the film makes After Blue a place that is somehow both beautiful yet also highly terrifying and disturbing. It may be an excellent place for your senses to behold, but to live on After Blue is a frightening prospect.

After Blue (Dirty Paradise) is at its best when it’s subtle about its messages, particularly when it comes to the visual messages. There are clear moments of phallic and vaginal references, which are fine when they are subtle and not too overt. However, there are moments for instance when you see a tree branch that purposefully looks phallic, which ends up distracting the audience and taking you out of the film, since it looks painfully silly. The subtle messages get you to think, but still be engaged in the movie, while the overt messages tend to be distracting, and caused me to lose a slight focus on the film.

While After Blue (Dirty Paradise) is certainly not a perfect film and even more certainly not for everyone, if watching a french sci-fi horror film with an exciting plot and stimulating visuals sounds like something you would enjoy, then this film is certainly worth checking out. If not, After Blue (Dirty Paradise) probably won’t do anything for you. It is also worth noting that whether you love or hate the movie, it will be one of the most unique and original movie-going experiences that you will ever have.

If you are interested in checking out After Blue (Dirty Paradise), the dates and locations to see the movie in theaters can be found here.

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After Blue (Dirty Paradise) opens in theaters on June 3rd. Will you be checking it out? Let us know in the comments section!