As someone who uses the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) for nearly every review I do, I often wonder what stars of other films do in between their “big” roles. I find myself going down a rabbit hole of (insert star name here) and see that they’ve done so many films that I’ve never heard of. Then again, they’re actors and they need to do what they can to make a living. I mention this because while Ashley Greene and Shawn Ashmore are established stars (she from the Twilight films and he from the first trio of X-Men films) let’s face it, they’re not exactly Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts, are they? So in this Netflix film which was torn from the headlines, we find them both, here, in a glorified “haunted house” movie. But there’s got to be more to it than meets the eye, right?
Natalie (Ashley Greene) and Kevin (Shawn Ashmore) are having difficulty in their marriage. She was unfaithful to him once and he resents her for it. She’s an fashion designer and he owns a company that cleans up crime scenes after the fact (and we’re treated to a rather graphic depiction of this in the opening sequence). Feeling that their lives will be better with a fresh start, they invest their savings into their “dream house” which just so happens to be a house that Kevin and his team has recently “cleaned.” Almost instantly things to go awry with lewd magazine subscriptions coming up, the dog barking seemingly at nothing and the A/C going down to sub zero temperatures. Things go from bad to worse when they find the house listed on the market and it’s not long after that they feel they made a wrong decision. Is this all in the minds of Natalie and Kevin, or is there a more nefarious presence at work?
Aftermath (one of about two dozen films named this, by the way) doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel with its script. Rather we get a series of scenes that we’ve all seen before in other (and some might argue, much better) films. The one intriguing thing to me was that this was based on a real-life story. A couple in San Diego moved into a home and soon found it listed on the market without their knowledge, magazine subscriptions started showing up and so forth. The “big twist” wasn’t part of this real-life debacle, but it obviously gave the filmmakers a basis to go off of. The ending gets a bit convoluted, but all in all it’s really not as bad as I made it out to be. If you’ve got 114 minutes to kill, you could do a lot worse.
Video: How’s it look?
I’ve always been impressed at how Netflix’s titles look and with this being a new release, we can expect what we’ve seen with other films of this nature. Simply put, the 2.39:1 AVC HD image looks pretty darn good. Everything is bright and vivid, detail is sharp and though the film gets darker in its final act, the picture quality isn’t compromised in the least. Black levels are strong as is contrast, giving this more of a theatrical feel to it, though it’s the furthest thing from it. I was impressed.
Audio: How’s it sound?
Netflix does allow for higher resolution audio formats, but unless I’m going insane, this looked and felt like a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. And that’s fine. It’s not like an Atmos track would have made much difference after all was said and done. Vocals come across with strong pitch, surrounds are used sparingly but effectively and we even get a few telegraphed “jump scares” that are necessary for the genre (well, not really, but they do them anyway). All in all, no complaints.
Supplements: What are the extras?
The Bottom Line
As I mentioned above, I’ve seen far worse but also far better. This feels like a made for TV movie (with a lot more graphic violence than one would think), but has some well-known stars. I’d have never even thought to view it, but my wife was scanning Netflix and, well, here we are. If you’re sitting around on a rainy afternoon, you could do a lot worse.