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  • A Near Death Experience does not come off in the typical vein like a majority of TV movies, which is what makes its viewing somewhat refreshing.

    Amy Acker is the top talent in this LMN flick, with Johanna Nutter and James A. Woods (among others) ably embodying the supporting characters. Acker is Ellie, a woman who has the "near death experience" from the get-go. After awakening in the hospital, she soon realizes she brought something back with her from her brush with death...something that frightens her and simultaneously lends her power to get people heard...dead people, that is.

    I do not normally give much credence to these type of scenarios, but I must concede the movie got me thinking and wondering what I would do and how I would feel in this situation. A gratifying effort from LMN. 7/10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Ellie faints at the museum where she works and has a near-death experience during which she briefly sees her dead boyfriend. When she wakes up, she is able to see dead people.

    The setup reminds us of shows like Ghost Whisperer or UK's After Life, with an even lower production budget. There is no mythology associated with the supernatural; her ability is simply a plot device used to help save a family and herself in a family murder plot. Her ghost boyfriend, which could have been an interesting new element, does not contribute to the story or development. He is there only for two scenes: First, to tell her to go back to the living, and later in an obvious scene to ask her to move on with her life without him.

    The dead appear to her as though they are still alive, and are fully aware of their status, except for the parts that need to remain conveniently unknown for plot reasons.

    The first 25 minutes of the movie deals with her first and second ghost, who simply want to tell their close ones to forgive and move on.

    The movie then spends its last 50 minutes on its last case, a typical one of a dead woman who has been shot in her house, and the man who is accused of this murder.

    "Voices", as it is called in Canada, is a TV movie that is low-budget in every way. It uses a minimal cast, lacks the necessary extras to fill up the crowds, and relies almost entirely on one 'Ellie's work place' and one 'Ellie's residence' set. The script is simply a sequence of obvious character and development we have seen time and time again. It even has the classic scene where a criminal will confesses, with flashbacks, to his crime to the lead character, moments before the police arrives.

    Reminding you furthermore that this is a TV movie, there are a few fade outs at key moments where a commercial break would normally be inserted.

    We have seen this story before and there are no surprises.

    As is typical in this type of TV movie, the police would have actually lacked the evidence to release the wrongly accused suspect, and should be acting differently at the end. But movie is more concerned with wrapping up quickly and simply.

    There is no mystery, no suspense, no action, and no meaning for the supernatural in "Voices"/"A Near Death Experience".

    It's merely a mash-up of B movies you have seen before, for example on woman's cable networks.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Ellie Daly is the curator for a train museum in Boston, and she has deep-seated memories of trains because her father was a train engineer. The sensitive Ellie was widowed when her husband died in an auto crash when she was at the wheel. After Ellie goes into anaphylactic shock due to an allergic reaction to macadamia nuts, she has visions of light, followed by the ability to commune with the dead. As one of the lost souls indicates to her, "You touched the light!"

    "A Near Death Experience" (a.k.a., "Voices") builds good suspense when Ellie is visited by Taylor Nicholson, a woman apparently killed by her husband. The plot thickens when Taylor's evil brother gets involved in the attempt to track down and murder Taylor's husband Daniel. The supernatural appearances of Taylor were well-executed in the film, as Taylor herself does not have the full story about her own death and helps to guide Ellie to the truth.

    The most moving scenes were actually in the secondary plot strands. One touching exchange occurs in a bookstore, where Ellie is taken by a Vietnam vet killed in action. The young man asks Ellie to intervene with his parents, imploring them to let go of the painful memory of his death, thereby releasing the vet's soul from pain and worry. Similarly, a little girl who drowned in a swimming pool cannot rest until her mother learns that she had not left the gate to the swimming pool unlocked.

    In Shakespeare's "Hamlet," the Ghost returns to nearly drive Hamlet mad until the death of the father is avenged and the Ghost's soul will rest in peace. So too, the characters in this film seeks surcease for their perturbed spirits. And the go-to person to help them attain closure is the kind and sensitive Ellie Daly.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Flipping through the channels tonight. Caught this movie on Movie Central. Anyway, during a love scene, a song was playing and it was a total rip off of a Portishead song off of the "Dummy" album. Whoever made the music, copied it. And the girl sings the same kind of melody as the chick from Portishead. Based on that alone, don't watch it. Don't support producers who would let that sh*t slip by. The movie doesn't look half bad. But, as a musician, no respect. Now basically, I was done this comment 3 sentences ago. But apparently, you have to leave 10 sentences or more. Here's 12, just for good measure. No, wait a minute. I'm back. It's 10 lines, not 10 sentences. So. I have to add. Not only does this movie contain a song that steals elements from another, but IMDb is also lame for this minimum sentence setting they have.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE is a standard TV movie ghost story that owes plenty to THE SIXTH SENSE. It was filmed in Canada on the cheap like so many of these movies, and its main character is a woman who acquires the ability to see and communicate with dead people.

    Her new-found ability draws her into a murder plot involving a murderer on the run, and it all plays out from there. What's surprising about the production is that it isn't as bad as expected and is quite watchable in places, particularly during the elaborate climax. Amy Acker is a not-bad heroine and the film wisely avoids the usual CGI ghastliness which makes it a little more thoughtful and a little more realistic than most.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    ***SPOILERS*** More of a murder mystery then supernatural movie "A Near Death Experience" comes across as two films in one. Railroad museum curator Ellie Daly, Amy Acker, suddenly loses consciousness and literally drops dead while biting into a macadamia nut, that she's allergic to, at a party.

    Coming back to life a few hours later at the hospital Elllie has not only gotten a glimpse of the other side, death, but the power to be able to communicate with the dead. This ability has a number of wondering and disembodied souls contact Ellie in their attempt to have her help them finally find peace in telling their loved ones to let go, and sop grieving for them, and let them, the dead, as well as themselves go on with their "lives".

    The movie at first has Ellie helping a number of people, including herself, in facing the sudden,by accident, death of a loved one. It's when the murdered Taylor Nicholson, Bronwer Booth, contacts Ellie that things really get scary. Taylor is certain that her husband Daniel, Steve Cumyn, murdered her in a fight over the custody of their son Jamie, Robert Naylon. Taylor whats Ellie, by contacting the police, to see her now fugitive from the law husband brought to justice. As things soon turn out Daniel, using the allies Dave Tanner, together with his son Jamie just happened to move into the apartment house that Ellie lives in!

    ***SPOILERS*** The movie has for the most part Ellie trying to get Daniel to turn himself into the police with her somehow knowing that he's innocent of his wife's murder. It's later on that the real reason for Taylor's murder comes to light which has to do with a multi-million dollar Medicare fraud that she, a doctor, was somehow unknowingly involved in.

    Both the supernatural and crime mystery parts of the film hold together pretty will but it's a bit difficult to follow them when they intertwine with each other. This also makes Ellie a bit confused and silly when she's in contact with those from the world beyond and trying to convince, in the Taylor Nicholson's murder case, the police that she's really on to something without any evidence at all!

    The really best parts of the film has to do with what Ellie learned after her near death experience early in the movie. This she learned mostly from her dearly departed boyfriend Brandan, James A. Woods, who was killed in a car crash with her behind the wheel: There's nothing wrong at all, in fact it's very normal, with grieving for those close to you that are gone. But after a brief mourning period you have to finally let go in order to go on with your own life. That's not only better for yourself but the person, that you miss very much, as well. It's then that he, or she, can finally get the eternal peace that death in the end offers him.