Producer-director Peter Winter brings another gripping dark horror story to life with Netflix horror thriller Aftermath. Based on a true story, the story centers on a young couple, Kevin and Natalie, whose marriage appears to have ended after Kevin found out about Natalie’s extramarital affair. However, they are both ready to move on from the past, and after making a cheap deal with a house at the crime scene, they move into their new country residence.
Only then a series of seemingly supernatural events disrupts their plans for reconciliation. Their world is literally burning down, and because they don’t know what they’re dealing with, the enemy is left one step ahead. The ending brings the story to a predetermined conclusion, but perhaps there are ways to expand and stretch the story for a couple of follow-ups.
What happened in the house?
Initially, murder and suicide were recorded in the house. Later in the film, Claudia (from whom they bought the house) revealed that the property belonged to her late brother Jay and his wife Erin. This couple was found dead under a roof.
Claudia revealed that Jay had cheated on Erin, and thus, in order to get revenge, Erin had an affair. In her case, it was a mysterious person that no one had ever heard of. After the alleged romance went public, the couple tried to salvage their marriage. Erin designed the house from the ground up to shift their focus, and Jay paid the price in hopes of a better future. But according to Claudia, the house wasn’t a distraction; instead, Erin was up to something dubious.
Now Claudia could not imagine what had happened in the house. However, she was certain that Jay was not a murderer and would never have committed suicide. A lot of the little details just didn’t add up, but the cops didn’t care. They registered that Erin cheated on Jay, and in the heat of an argument, he killed his wife and then shot himself.
Who was the mysterious entity?
Aftermath has established itself as a horror movie with a paranormal entity running the show for much of its plot. Natalie was afraid that a thin, pale man (Otto) was crawling around the house. The couple repaired the existing camera system to capture Otto’s presence, but this did not produce satisfactory results. Later, Natalie took matters into her own hands and began recording the events in her bedroom with a video camera. In one of the videos, she saw a barbaric-looking man hiding under her bed. Otto used Natalie’s cell phone to text Kevin, probably out of a sinful desire.
Otto chained Natalie in a secret closet. The place looked like an operating room with a security camera and mechanical triggers. He controlled the activities in the house. Through a series of pictures taped to the walls. Natalie finally solved the mystery of Otto’s existence. Claudia’s former owner and sister-in-law, Erin, had an affair with Otto. She designed a place for him and brought him to the monastery under the spell of love. Otto sacrificed his identity to stay close to Erin, but in the end Erin chose her husband. Enraged, Otto killed the couple.
When Kevin and Natalie moved into the house, Otto became infatuated with Natalie and made her his subsequent stalker. He poisoned their dog with a substance called Nerium and slowly killed Kevin with it. He wanted to get rid of Kevin so he could stay with Natalie in the house.
After the attempted murder of Natalie by a teenage delinquent, Travis Murray, a police officer, came to the conclusion that Claudia’s husband, Robert Sorrentino, orchestrated the entire act of threats and vandalism. He had accumulated considerable debt, and the house was his only financial enterprise. Thus, Robert wanted to scare the new couple at home, hoping that Kevin and Natalie would forfeit their purchase. The external conflict did give the department a great story to close the case. But this was only a minor thread in a tangled web of affairs.
The real culprit, fueling the couple’s world and threatening their existence, was Erin’s romance, Otto. In his lust / infatuation, Natalie Otto began to interfere with the couple’s mobile phones in order to create a gap between them. He also ordered flowers for Natalie on Nick’s behalf to light up the couple’s past scars.
In the end, Kevin and Natalie successfully evaded Otto’s attacks and Natalie killed him with a pair of scissors. The narrative also states that Otto kidnapped Natalie’s sister Dani and raped her in his secret room. Kevin later found her body in the bedroom.
The film did not deliver the desired ending to Dani and her murder and ended the story quickly. This moved on to events taking place a month later. This illustrated that Kevin and Natalie left (sold) the house after a series of tragedies and horrors. Before disappearing, the screen visualized the pantry door closing on its own. The curious ending opened the door to two possibilities: the door was closed for natural reasons, or someone was still hiding in the house. The film ended with a climax.