Peter Winther’s thriller tale, Aftermath, is based on actual events. The film follows the account of an American couple who try to revitalize their relationship by changing the environment. However, the new haunted house (or as it feels initially) complicates their relationship further.
Throughout the narrative, they try to find a mysterious man sharing the roof with them. Who is this strange man, and why is he even there? Through this write-up, we’ll try to investigate his presence and his motives.
‘Aftermath’ Plot Summary
The film begins with a suicide and murder in a house where a woman is shot dead by her husband, who shoots himself soon after the offense. The next day, Kevin Dadich and his small crew of construction workers clean the house. Kevin is a college dropout who lives a simple semi-urban life with his wife, Natalie. She is an aspiring fashion designer looking for potential investors to keep her Boutique running.
While the couple seems happy at first, there is an underlying tension at the crust. In the past, Natalie cheated on Kevin with her friend, Nick Scott. In the aftermath of the affair, their relationship has been off the beam. They are consulting a counselor to revive it. The counselor later suggests a change in environment to help them give a second chance to each other.
Kevin decides to buy the house at Hallow Park Way (which he cleaned in the beginning). Natalie is hesitant at first. She is concerned about the economics and the idea of living in a murder-suicide house. Still, she gives up on Kevin’s insistence. The couple moves into their new home, and the paranormal incidents quickly invade their peace.
What happened at the house?
In the beginning, a murder and a suicide were recorded at 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. These were also the couple who were found dead under the roof.
Claudia informed that Jay cheated on Erin, and thus to get even, Erin started an affair. In her case, it was a mystery man that no one had ever heard about. After the alleged affair came to light, the couple tried to save their marriage. Erin designed the house from the ground up to shift their focus, and Jay paid for everything hoping for a better future. But according to Claudia, the house wasn’t a distraction; instead, Erin was up to something shady.
Now Claudia couldn’t theorize what happened in the house. Still, she was sure that Jay wasn’t a murderer and would have never committed suicide. Many little details just didn’t add up, but the cops didn’t care about any of that. They registered that Erin was cheating on Jay, and in the heat of an argument, he killed his wife and later shot himself.
Who was the Mysterious Entity?
Aftermath established itself as a horror flick with a paranormal entity running the show for a significant portion of the plot. Natalie was paranoid about a rail-thin pale man (Otto) crawling in the house. The couple got repaired the existing camera system to capture Otto’s presence, but it failed to produce satisfactory results. Later, Natalie took matters into her hands and started recording the incidents of her bedroom on a camcorder. In one of the clips, she witnessed a barbarous-looking man lurking under her bed. Otto used Natalie’s cell phone to text Kevin, probably with a sinful desire at the back of his head.
Otto chained Natalie in a hidden storeroom. The place looked like an operating room with a CCTV camera and mechanical triggers. He controlled the activities in the house. Through a series of wall-pinned pictures, Natalie finally unraveled the mystery around Otto’s existence. Previous Owner and Claudia’s sister-in-law, Erin had an affair with Otto. She designed the place for him and brought him to the abode under the spell of love. Otto sacrificed his identity to stay close to Erin, but Erin chose her husband in the end. In a rage, Otto killed the couple.
When Kevin and Natalie moved into the house, Otto got infatuated with Natalie and made her his subsequent pursuit. He poisoned their dog with a substance called Nerium and was slowly killing Kevin with the same. He wanted to get rid of Kevin so that he could stay with Natalie in the house.
‘Aftermath’ Ending Explained
After a murder attempt on Natalie by an offending teenager, Travis Murray, a Police officer, deduced that Claudia’s husband, Robert Sorrentino, orchestrated the whole act of threats and vandalism. He had accumulated a significant amount of debt, and the house was the only financial venture he had going on. Thus, Robert wanted to scare the new couple at home, hoping Kevin and Natalie would forfeit the purchase. The exterior conflict did give the department an excellent story to close the case. But it was just a minor thread in the intricate web of affairs.
The real culprit feeding on the couple’s peace and threatening their existence was Erin’s affair, Otto. In his lust/infatuation with Natalie, Otto started tampering with the couple’s mobile phones to create a rift between them. He also ordered flowers for Natalie under Nick’s name to fuel the scars of the couple’s past.
In the end, Kevin and Natalie successfully dodged Otto’s attacks, and Natalie killed him with a pair of scissors. The narrative also suggested that Otto abducted Natalie’s sister, Dani, and assaulted her in his secret room. Her body was later found by Kevin in the bedroom.
The film didn’t give the desired closure to Dani and her murder and quickly wrapped up the plot. It jumped to events happening a month later. It illustrated that Kevin and Natalie left (sold) the house after a series of tragedies and horror. Before fading out, the screen visualized the storeroom door closing on its own. The curious ending paved the way for two possibilities: the door closed due to natural reasons, or there was still someone hidden in the house. The film ended on a cliffhanger.
Aftermath is a 2021 Mystery Thriller film directed by Peter Winther.