Aftermath is a 2021 Netflix film that was pre-released for limited viewing and has now disappeared from Netflix. 🙁
8 out of 10 stars. This is a truly terrifying film. Stick with it through the cheesy parts. It gets better. 90% was taken from other famous films. The other 10% is kind of dumb.
This film starts with a crime scene cleanup. A man killed his wife in the closet where she hid then hung himself. Kevin Dadich and his crew are the ones hired to clean up.
A few weeks later during martial counseling, Kevin and his wife Natalie’s therapist suggests to give their marriage a new start they should move to a new home with their dog Odi. So Kevin takes Natalie to the crime scene house and buys it from the dead guy’s sister (and her husband). They get it really cheap, but Natalie is upset that he did this behind her back. (And honestly very unrealistic.)
Immediately after they move in, the house becomes haunted or should I say it begins haunting Natalie and their dog Odi. Kevin, who’s still angry at Natalie for cheating on him a year ago, tells her she’s imagining things. Even when a man attacks her in their home and she loses several hours then wakes up hysterical, Kevin is more angry at the “melodrama” than a believer.
After evening after evening in which they hear sounds, but don’t find anything, they look outside and find their car on fire. So they call the cops. The cop discovers their car was set on fire in retaliation for a racist post on FaceBook with their address on it. Even though they never posted it, the cop doesn’t believe them (and he’s black).
Things go from bad to worse when Natalie is attacked a second time inside the house and jumps from the upstairs balcony into the swimming pool to escape the man who is trying to kidnap her. Surveillance cameras only show Natalie, so even Kevin thinks she’s mentally ill.
One evening Natalie’s sister comes over to feed Odi because they are running late. She gets sidetracked trying on Natalie’s clothes. When she hears someone in the house, she runs downstairs, but she can’t find Odi. She should have just left, but she keeps looking. Then two arms pull her into the closet and she disappears. When Kevin and Natalie come home, Odi’s terrified and whimpering. They assume Danielle (the sister) never showed. And they don’t bother calling her.
A few days later, while Kevin is at the park with Odi, the dog collapses and he rushes him to the vet. Odi’s been poisoned and dies. When Kevin returns to work, he can’t stop vomiting and is rushed to the hospital. He too has been poisoned. The cops think Natalie is poisoning him and so does Kevin who suddenly refuses to eat anything she’s made.
At this point, Natalie is terrified of the house and ready to leave her idiot husband. So she pays a visit to the sister of the previous owner. The sister says her brother’s wife was having an affair and she believes the secret lover killed them both, not her brother. As she’s leaving, the woman’s husband tries to coerce Natalie into selling them back the house.
A few days later, a man delivers roses to the house when Natalie is home alone, but the moment she opens the door, he forces his way inside and tries to rape her. She stabs him with a pair of scissors and calls 9-1-1. The cops release the man because apparently he was responding to a Rape Wanted ad on Craigslist with Natalie’s picture and address. The cops arrest the dead guy’s brother-in-law who apparently posted the racist FaceBook rant with their address AND the Rape Wanted ad on Craigslist. He owed a lot of money and thought he could sell the house for more money to pay them, so he wanted to scare them into selling the house back to them for hardly any money. (Faulty logic there. Who pays the closing costs??)
Kevin thinks the problem is solved. But Natalie is still being haunted and so far nothing the cops have said explains the attacks on her. So she buys a regular video camera (since the home’s surveillance cameras show nothing but her) and sets it up to record their bedroom. Here’s where it gets even more terrifying. They fight and the next night Kevin doesn’t come home for dinner. Natalie takes a bath then finally calls Kevin and leaves him a message. Kevin calls her back and tells her she told him not to come home, so she looks at her text messages and realizes someone was in the house using her phone to send texts to Kevin. She goes to the video camera and plays it back. After her husband left in the morning, while she was still asleep, the man from her nightmares crawls out from under her bed and texts Kevin with her phone. Then he disappears under the bed. She’s about to scream, but he’s suddenly behind her injecting her with a drug.
Natalie wakes up inside the walls of the house where a tiny security room was built to monitor all the security cameras. Photos on the wall reveal her kidnapper to be the lover of the dead wife. So the sister was right. Natalie tries talking the man into releasing her, but Kevin comes home. She’s handcuffed to the wall. So instead of killing her, he stuffs a sock in her mouth and goes to kill Kevin. She’s watching the whole thing on the surveillance cameras until she realizes she’s the only one who can save Kevin. She breaks her hand, slips it through the handcuff and goes to save Kevin (very unrealistic). Between both of them they kill the man. He had killed Danielle whose body he puts on the bed to scare Kevin.
The film ends with them moving and getting a new dog.
All of the elements of this film that make it terrifying were taken from other films. I knew that, recognized that right away, and was still terrified.
Craigslist Rape Ad. Real and on Closer series
The only part “taken from real events” was the Craigslist part. The Craigslist rapist really happened in Denver, Colorado when a man wanted to punish his ex-wife and posted the rape ad with her photo and address. It was dramatized in a Closer episode.
The Pact, The Boy, and The Resident
The killer living in the walls of the house was first used in the horror film The Pact then again in The Boy and yet again in The Resident. In The Pact, the serial killer was the girl’s supposedly dead uncle who had murdered several women and her sister. In The Boy, the killer was disfigured in a fire after killing a little girl so he lived in the walls of his house while his parents raised a doll (don’t ask). In The Resident a rapist (and murderer) rents a room to a pretty doctor then drugs her and rapes her every night.
The Resident and Come Back to Me
The man drugging a woman and she secretly videotapes it and figures it out has been done several times. The Resident was the scariest. He drugged her and raped her every night. He also killed her boyfriend and hid in the walls. The second scariest would be Come Back to Me where the woman becomes pregnant by her nighttime intruder and she finds out her husband is sterile so she knows something’s up. He kills both her and her husband.
The woman being tied up and forced to injure her hand to break free of handcuffs was first done in Gerald’s Game. Her husband ties her up in order to rape her then has a heart attack and dies. A local serial killer starts visiting her over her five day ordeal handcuffed to that bed. She thinks she’s imagining it but finally realizes she’ll die of dehydration if she doesn’t get free, so she cuts her wrist and the blood allows her to slide her hand through the handcuff, but she’s forever damaged the skin, flesh, and nerves in her hand. This was originally a Stephen King story.
8 out of 10 stars. Terrifying. But again, copied from other films.