Sommerleigh Pollonais, Senior Writer
Plot: A young couple struggling to stay together are offered an amazing deal on a home with a questionable past that would normally be beyond their means. In a final attempt to start fresh in their relationship they take the deal.
Review: Aftermath is one of those standard thrillers you tend to find on channels like Lifetime and TNT. A young couple looking for a fresh start luck in on the opportunity to buy a luxurious smart house. Things start off well enough, only to slowly degrade as time goes by, putting a strain on their already strained marriage. And to top it all off, there’s something lurking in the shadows. Did I mention the previous owners died horrifically in said house? Don’t worry; I’m not spoiling anything as this is literally the opening scene for this movie and it sets the tone for what’s to come.
Shawn Ashmore, not to be mistaken for his identical twin Aaron (the former was an X-Man while the latter starred in the awesome SyFy series Killjoys) plays Kevin, the husband half of our duo who cleans up after crime scenes for a living after he dropped out of college. Ashley Greene (most well-known from The Twilight Saga, and I wonder how she feels about that) is his wife Natalie, an aspiring fashion designer. The two of them and a few other actors, some more recognisable than the rest, make up the cast of this by-the-numbers thriller.
I’ll give the film points for atmosphere. This movie is at its strongest when it focuses on the house and the young couple trapped in its nightmare. The house itself is quite lovely, and if it wasn’t for the murders I could totally see myself living in it (that backyard is amazing). There are some solid suspenseful moments here and a great use of light and shadow in the darker scenes. The sound design also works well at upping the creep factor. Both Shawn and Ashley do a solid job of portraying a young couple who love each other, but are struggling with past indiscretions and financial burdens that threaten to tear them apart. I was rooting for them to make it through, which speaks volumes about their performances.
Otherwise what we have here is pretty standard. I figured out what was happening from the moment they moved into the house and checked out the closet. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen so many films it’s become that much harder for me to be surprised. It doesn’t mean other viewers will have the same issues I did, but for me the predictability made it harder to enjoy myself as I sat there and waited for them to pull the curtain back. And it wasn’t because I didn’t know what was behind it but because it would mean the movie was over.
I think casual viewers will enjoy Aftermath, especially those who get a kick out of these types of thrillers. But for those who prefer something with a bit more twists and turns to it, the film doesn’t offer enough to keep your eyes glued to your television instead of your phone.
Sommer’s Score: 5.5 out of 10
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Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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