Directed by Peter Winther (The Patriot and Independence Day producer), Aftermath is a slow-burning movie that loosely fits its given genre.
The Plot of Aftermath
Working on his job as a crime scene cleaner (lovely), Kevin happens upon a house for sale at a bargain price. The catch, of course, is that it’s one he has just been cleaning of blood, guts, and brain matter; a house with a tragic history.
When Natalie eventually realizes the turmoil her husband is enduring by staying in their current house of ill memories, she eventually relents and they, predictably, move into the house of horrors to start their lives anew and rebuild the rocky foundations of their relationship.
What follows are the inevitable platitudes of a movie of this ilk; accompanied by a tragic display of wasted potential.
It’s clear from around the halfway mark that Aftermath sets out to be a deeply intricate story about the many consequences of extramarital relations. The slow pace, demands a tightly knit plotline to keep viewers interested and speculating over possible outcomes. While the concept is interesting on paper, on closer inspection Aftermath is little more than a rehashed premise; albeit wrapped up in a polished dialogue. Home intruder movies seldom bring anything fresh to the table, so this came of little surprise.
While Aftermath makes its intentions clear, it doesn’t quite live up to the movie it’s trying to be. As mentioned earlier, slow-burners demand a compelling plot; full of intrigue, surprise, and tense emotion. Aftermath sadly falls short on all of these, resulting in watch-checking throughout 80% of the movie’s 1:54 runtime.
Without the needless fluff, Aftermath could have reached its potential. With a gripping storyline and a little more horror, this lackluster movie could have been something great. By needlessly drawing the movie out, however, they’ve taken away any real appeal that it could have held.
If there’s one thing to say for Aftermath, it’s the cast. The actors and actresses chosen are all perfectly suited to their roles and give sterling performances across the board. With the lead couple, Ashley Greene and Shawn Ashmore, slipping perfectly into their roles as the struggling suburban couple, it’s evident that the movie’s worst enemy was the dull narrative alone.
The Fear Factor of Aftermath is Lacking
For a movie that defines itself in our beloved genre, Aftermath is seriously lacking in the scare department. The trailers and the hype will build you up for a scare-fest, to let you down by an abundance of tired cliches and a few mild and futile attempts at scaring.
The movie does, however, contain one ‘WOAH’ moment, but this is far from enough to make up for the tedium of the other 1 hour, 53 minutes and 40 seconds of the movie.
As a Sunday afternoon movie to pass the time, Aftermath will somewhat live up to the job. As a horror movie, however, it will leave you sorely disappointed. While the cast members were chosen with a keen eye, they just aren’t enough to save the movie and create intrigue from the drab, drawn-out script.
The core story is pretty solid. You do, however, need to have a super-human attention span and the ability to glaze over some of the finer details of Aftermath. The movie does throw up a few surprises from time to time, but not enough to distract from what this movie essentially is; a circus of cliches hidden under the big top of pretense.
Aftermath could have well been the movie we have all been waiting for. Sadly, the wait will go on for at least a little longer.