Amy Acker in A Near Death Experience (2008) (aka: Voices)

Dead Reckoning

Ellie Daly (Amy Acker) had just opened a new attraction at a railway museum which had been a labour of love for her when she has a near death experience, seeing her dead boyfriend before waking up in a hospital. Confused Ellie heads home only to discover that somehow she can now see and communicate with the dead who walk the Earth and are in need of closure in order to move on such as a young soldier who died in Vietnam but whose parents can't accept his death. But Ellie finds herself dealing with something much bigger when the ghost of a woman who was murdered comes to her needing Ellie to make sure her murderer is brought to justice. The thing is that maybe the person everyone thinks is guilty of killing her didn't.

If I think about all the made for TV thrillers I have watched I reckon that I could count on just one hand those which have a supernatural element. And I reckon there is a good reason for this beyond maybe budget limitations making doing them effectively difficult. The reason is that the sort of audience who intentionally seek out made for TV thrillers like their everyday, easy to follow, semi realistic nature and so with a story exploring the world of ghosts is not what they want. Maybe I am wrong, maybe there is another reason but I know for me when I watch this sort of supernatural TV movie I find myself thinking nonsense.

Bronwen Booth in A Near Death Experience (2008) (aka: Voices)

The daft thing is that when it comes to "A Near Death Experience", which is also known as "Voices", the whole supernatural, I see dead people thing is only there as a mechanism for another story where a woman ends up in danger as she gets herself involved in solving a crime. Yes there is some detail to this with there being the dead woman's son involved as Ellie befriends him but for the most this is typical right down to what seems an obligatory soft erotic scene as in a flashback we see Ellie in lingerie getting steamy with her boyfriend before he died. On the subject of which she sees him as a ghost as she too is holding on to the past, preventing him from moving on.

The thing is that "A Near Death Experience" is not a bad movie; Amy Acker plays her part well when you remember we are talking a TV movie here. Plus director Don Terry does a nice job of keeping the movie ticking over so you are not left with too much time to focus on any of the flawed story elements. But being typical means that it is made for the sort of audience who are fans of TV movies as watched with higher expectations is only going to leave you under-whelmed.

What this all boils down to is that "A Near Death Experience" is a stereotypical made for TV movie which whilst entertaining is nothing special. And as it features a supernatural, I see dead people side it is the sort of movie which even some fans of TV movies will find all a bit too nonsense.