In “Aftermath,” “Twilight” star Ashley Greene and “X-Men” star Shawn Ashmore move into a new house where strange things soon start to happen. What sounds like “The Conjuring” ends up being a pretty nonsensical mishmash of genres.
Kevin (Shawn Ashmore) and Natalie (Ashley Greene) have a troubled relationship. After a breach of trust, both try to make a safe world. Nevertheless, they cannot deny that their love has suffered a hard break – which a new house is now supposed to mend. But shortly after moving in, strange incidents occur that not only endanger their relationship, but also their lives.
Also present in “Aftermath” (since August 4 on Netflix) are Shawn Ashmore, known as Iceman from the “X-Men” films, as Kevin and Ashley Greene, and “Twilight” fans well known as the bloodsucker Alice Cullen should be than Natalie. In addition, what awaits you in the horror thriller is above all a mishmash of all kinds of films that one apparently somehow wanted to reconcile here – while, as an overlay at the beginning of the film makes clear, the story is also based on a true event target.
How is this supposed to work? Good question – to which director and screenplay co-writer Peter Winther has no answer.
Between “Conjuring”, “Fifty Shades” & “Crime Scene Cleaner”
What begins as classic horror-thriller fare (it really doesn’t get any more classic than a new home with something wrong with it) becomes more and more disjointed the longer the film goes on.
When Kevin and Natalie get closer one evening and interchangeable, kitschy-romantic pop music is laid over a mega-glossy sex scene, it almost reminds you of “Fifty Shades Of Grey” – a parallel that is also striking because the supposed love relationship is just as incredible and far-fetched as in the “erotic” bestseller film adaptation.
And so that in addition to the (really not tingling eroticism or even passionate love) the supposed humor is not neglected, Kevin’s crime scene cleaner work colleague Dave (Jamie Kaler) is a pubescent in the body of a mid-forties. Always with a snappy joke that only he himself can laugh at, he knows exactly what it takes to nip even the smallest surge of tension in the bud. But hey, with the German audience he would have had a hard time with this scam anyway. Because if there is a crime scene cleaner who is not only funny, but also charming and not even that stupid, then that’s Bjarne Mädel’s Scot from “The Crime Scene Cleaner”!
For a long time it was not really clear what “Aftermath” actually wanted to be, both in terms of content and staging. Because you jump back and forth, one moment it’s a classic stalker thriller and the next it’s supposedly supernatural scary horror. Or was it all just imagination after all?
It feels as if the makers themselves had no idea where they actually wanted to go with their story. And if you have lost the common thread, logic holes are not far away either.
Nothing really makes any sense here
Kevin and Natalie are neither too likeable nor do they do each other any good. This becomes more than clear after just a few moments, in which the couple seems almost tormented and happy. Why the two then suddenly spontaneously scrape together all the money they have to buy their own home – on top of that a bigwig’s hut that is certainly still unaffordable despite the “bargain price”, but that’s an open question – is not clear to me. A house as a lifeline for an already doomed relationship? Makes sense. Not.
And as soon as the spook begins, “Aftermath” loses itself in more and more directions in which the horror scenario could go. Concept? none. Instead, countless set pieces of thriller cinema are simply thrown into one pot. Something will come of it.
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As if the script had been put through a meat grinder, it always feels like essential scenes that might have been present in an early draft have been left out. And so in the end it is not surprising if logic holes are not filled at a later point in time, but are either simply hushed up or – and this happens much more often – new connection errors result.
Whether it’s random snippets of dialogue that just don’t make sense on their own, or a whole (!) load (!!!) of events that are completely fabricated out of thin air, once the avalanche of nonsense starts rolling, there’s no stopping it more. Without going into too specific details (many readers probably haven’t seen the film yet), I want to warn: The suspense cinema thrives above all on credible characters and scenarios that grab you because you can put yourself in their shoes – that’s exactly what you don’t get with “Aftermath”. The film is bearable at most when you don’t even begin to question the characters and their actions. The only thing is that the suspense of a thriller goes away with it.
So, whichever way you look at it: You can skip “Aftermath”.