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Movies Like Aftermath That Horror Fans Need To See

If you're a fan of horror and suspense, there's a good chance you've already watched "Aftermath," which was released on Netflix in August 2021. It stars Ashley Greene and Shawn Ashmore as a troubled couple who move into a very nice house they can only afford because a horrific crime recently took place there. The very day they move in, creepy and unexplained events start happening, which spiral out of control until their lives are nearly overtaken with violence and terror.

Without spoiling the finer details, we can tell you that "Aftermath" is not exactly a haunted house movie, but it does share a lot of its tropes with that genre. What it is, at heart, is a movie about not feeling safe in your home. If that's the specific kind of terror you're looking for more of, we've got you covered. Here are some other movies available from a variety of sources that have a similar vibe to "Aftermath."


Also known as "Crawlspace" (a title that might have revealed a bit too much), 2016's "Within" focuses on the Alexander family: Teenage Hannah (Erin Moriarty), her widowed dad John (Michael Vartan), and John's new wife Melanie (Nadine Velazquez). As the movie opens, they move into their new home. As will soon become a theme on this list, things get spooky pretty fast. Stuff is moved around, the inside cat gets outside, food is mysteriously eaten, and Hannah keeps waking up with all of the covers pulled off her body. Their next door neighbor is a locksmith and an obvious creep, so he's the early suspect. When he angrily invades their home after feeling accused, however, he becomes a victim of the mysterious presence inside the house. It turns out that similar things have happened to previous residents of the house. Whatever is wreaking havoc on the Alexanders' lives has been there for a while, and likely stands a good chance of outlasting them.

"Within" is structurally very similar to "Aftermath," as you've likely already noticed. While "Within" is not quite as good as the more recent film, it's worth watching to compare where the two films take their very similar premises, and how far apart they are by the end.

The Boy

At first glance, 2016's "The Boy" looks like a haunted doll movie in the vein of "Annabelle." But it's actually something quite different, and maybe even creepier. Lauren Cohan plays Greta, an American who travels to England to work as a nanny for an elderly couple, the Heelshires. She is shocked and dismayed to learn that their "son" is actually a large porcelain doll named Brahms, for which she is given very specific instructions regarding its care. It turns out that the real Brahms Heelshire died in a fire 20 years earlier, and his parents have been treating the doll like their child ever since. But as Greta's stuff starts disappearing and the doll begins to move whenever she's out of the room, it soon becomes clear that whatever is happening is even darker than that delusion.

Even if you haven't seen "The Boy," there's a strong chance you've heard about the twist (although we won't spoil it here). Still, the movie has more to offer than just that one surprise — plus, if you go in with extra knowledge about what's really happening, you're better equipped to spot clues along the way. If you're looking for a thriller about a woman stuck in a Gothic mansion consumed with the inescapable feeling that she's being watched, "The Boy" is worth a look.

I See You

2019's "I See You" is such a unique roller coaster of a movie that it's impossible to talk about without spoiling at least one twist. Consider this your warning. Helen Hunt plays Jackie Harper, a middle-aged mom who lives with her husband Greg (Jon Tenney) and teenage son Connor (Judah Lewis). Jackie recently had an affair, for which Connor resents her almost as much as his dad does. Meanwhile, Greg, a police detective, investigates a disturbing series of abductions of young boys. Weird and unexplained things soon happen in the Harper house: The silverware disappears, photos vanish out of their frames, and a repairman says he was let into the house by Jackie's nonexistent daughter.

When the tension reaches a crescendo, the movie reveals that two young homeless people, Alec (Owen Teague) and Mindy (Libe Barer), are secretly living in the house. At this point, the movie flashes back and shows everything that's occurred so far from the point of view of these two phroggers (as they call themselves). Mindy is an experienced phrogger and careful to leave no trace, but Alec has been messing with the family, and is responsible for everything strange that has occurred. The twists don't end there, however. Alec and Mindy's activities reveal more secrets, and they soon find themselves trapped in a situation far more dangerous than they ever expected.


"Z" was released directly on the horror streaming service Shudder in 2019. Even there, it stands out for its viscerally terrifying mix of slow-building tension and mind-breaking jump scares. This supernatural thriller stars Keegan Connor Tracy as Beth Parsons, who becomes concerned when her young son Josh (Jett Klyne) begins to prefer the company of his imaginary friend Z to that of real people. Kevin (Sean Rogerson), Beth's husband and Josh's dad, is slower to realize anything's amiss, but once Josh apparently pushes a friend off an upper floor landing and draws a huge fanged monster on his wall, the problem becomes undeniable. Although family therapist Dr. Seager (Stephen McHattie) is certain the issue is entirely psychological, Z is all too real — and he's using Josh to get to Beth.

This movie goes places you'd never expect, as the choices Beth makes to save her son from Z stray further and further from any normal conception of sanity. Exactly what Z is remains pretty mysterious, but the power he exerts, while mostly remaining invisible, is all too real. Whenever he is visible, things get even scarier.

Lights Out

2016's "Lights Out" is another movie about an imaginary friend who turns out to be real, evil, and terrifying. This time, however, it's the children who catch their mother talking to someone who doesn't seem to be there, a presence she calls Diana. Maria Bello plays Sophie, the mother, Teresa Palmer plays Rebecca, her adult daughter, and Gabriel Bateman plays Martin, Sophie's young son and Rebecca's half-brother. As for Diana, she only appears  when the lights are turned out (played by stuntwoman Alicia Vela-Bailey in terrifying makeup) and vanishes when they're turned back on. With those simple rules it seems easy enough to avoid her — until, of course, she manages to cut the power to the entire neighborhood.

"Lights Out" is a greatly expanded remake of a 2013 short of the same name made by the same director, David Sandberg. After the short went viral on YouTube (via Daily Dead), Sandberg received multiple offers to make a feature version. Unlike the short (and most other films of this type, like "Z") 2016's "Lights Out" goes to great lengths to explain who Diana is, where she came from, and how she came to haunt this particular family. Your mileage may vary when it comes to the backstory, but the scenes of Diana moving as a silhouette in the dark will freak you out either way.

You Should Have Left

Although you could call "You Should Have Left" a haunted house film, it's less about a malicious presence within the house that its central family is staying in, and more about the house itself and what it does to them while they're there. This 2020 thriller stars Kevin Bacon as a retired banker named Theo, Amanda Seyfried as his second wife Susanna, and Avery Essex as their young daughter Ella. Looking to get away from it all, they rent a secluded house in Wales, though Theo and Susanna each think the other is the one who booked it. 

As soon as they arrive, time feels distorted, they begin having nightmares, and Ella sees the shadow of a man in her room. Meanwhile, Theo is also dealing with guilt over the death of his first wife, which he was arrested for but acquitted of. He's also struggling with jealousy towards Susanna, who he suspects of cheating on him. As if all that isn't enough, he begins to find messages in his journal that he didn't write, and discovers that the house is somehow bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.

The movie drew mixed reviews, with some viewers feeling that its mysteries never quite come together in a satisfying way. Nevertheless, its slow-burn creepiness and use of space and time distortion to unnerve both its characters and its audience make "You Should Have Left" a unique creation.

Things Heard and Seen

Amanda Seyfried stars in "Things Heard and Seen," a moody horror effort released on Netflix in 2021. She plays Catherine Claire, an artist who moves to the country in 1979 with her husband George (James Norton) and their daughter Franny (Ana Sophia Heger). George starts a new job at a local college while Catherine focuses on fixing up their old farmhouse, which of course turns out to be haunted. Whatever spirits occupy the house, however, are no more treacherous than George turns out to be, as Catherine begins to uncover his lifelong habits of fraud, manipulation, and perhaps even violence. Catherine befriends George's coworker Justine Sokolov (Rhea Seehorn), who shares her suspicions about him. Meanwhile, George begins an affair with a local girl (Natalia Dyer).

"Things Heard and Seen" does an excellent job of weaving together the haunted house story with the marital psychodrama, which are united by a meta-narrative regarding the unseen abuse women have endured for generations at the hands of men. When it all comes to a head in the film's climax, it's with a strong sense of cosmic justice, if not exactly a happy ending.


2016's "Home" (not to be confused with the 2015 animated film with the same name) stars Kerry Knuppe as Carrie, a young woman who has to move in with her mother (Heather Langenkamp) when her missionary father leaves the country. Carrie is particularly unhappy about the situation because her mother has come out as a lesbian and married a woman (Samantha Mumba), with whom she has a young daughter named Tia (Alessandra Shelby Farmer). Carrie objects to her mother's life for religious reasons, and also blames her for the end of her parents' marriage. 

It doesn't take long for Carrie to realize that her mother and stepmother aren't evil — but something else residing in their house actually is. Yes, this is another house with an (initially) unseen evil presence that threatens its occupants. When the moms leave for a business trip, it falls to Carrie to protect Tia, the target of the evil force.

Making a character who is essentially a religious bigot the protagonist of the movie is a bold choice that could have backfired. However, the movie is clearly not on Carrie's side when it comes to LGBTQ rights, and is ultimately all about her learning and growing when faced with real danger. Plus, when the haunting escalates, "Home" offers some truly great scares.

Sleep Tight

"Sleep Tight" is a 2011 film from Spain, where it's known as "Mientras Duermes" (literally "While You Sleep"). If you don't mind the subtitles, it's a fascinating thriller about an apartment building concierge named Cesar (Luis Tosar) who believes that he is fundamentally incapable of feeling happiness. He takes this out on the residents of his building. Cesar's job gives him access to people's apartments, which he uses to mess with residents' stuff with the goal of making them as unhappy as he feels. He deliberately makes pets sick, lets plants die, and gives children access to adult films. He's even sleeping with one resident, a woman named Clara (Marta Etura) — but once she's asleep, he drugs her and messes with her toiletry products, causing her to get rashes. He's just about as creepy as a person can be without actually killing anyone. That is, until he kills someone.

People who live in apartment buildings are given little choice but to trust the employees who have access to their private spaces, and most choose not to think about the implications. "Sleep Tight" is a reminder of how creepy that situation can quickly become if somebody takes advantage of it. There's no other horror film quite like it.


"Hush," which was released on Netflix in 2016, is another unique take on the home invasion subgenre. Kate Siegel stars as Maddie Young, a deaf horror author. After the success of her first novel, she's living in an isolated house in the woods while she works on her follow-up book. One night, a masked killer (John Gallagher Jr.) arrives at her house. Realizing she's deaf, he assumes she'll be an easy target. But Maddie turns out to be surprisingly resourceful, and the film becomes a battle of wits between the two. At first, Maddie thinks she can escape, but she soon realizes this is a kill-or-be-killed situation. She's willing to do whatever it takes to survive.

With almost no dialogue in the movie, director Mike Flanagan deploys sound to build suspense and take us into Maddie's head. Between that fascinating aspect of the film and Siegel's performance, Maddie establishes herself as a top-tier horror protagonist. Ultimately, she's more than just a Final Girl – she's a hero.


As the name implies, 2015's Intruders is a home invasion movie. But the woman in this house isn't necessarily a hero — she's a lot more complicated than that. Beth Riesgraf plays Anna Rook, a deeply agoraphobic woman who lives with her drying brother Conrad (Timothy McKinney) in their family home.  Her only contact with the outside world comes from Dan (Rory Culkin), the friendly guy who delivers food to the house. 

After Conrad dies, Anna and Dan commiserate about how they both feel trapped in their lives, leading her to offer him a large bag of cash, which he refuses. Anna's agoraphobia keeps her from going to Conrad's funeral, which means she's home when three men (Jack Kesy, Martin Starr, and Vance Henson) break in to look for the money they heard about from Dan. None of them suspect what used to go on in Anna's house, however, and she soon turns the tables on them in a manner they could never have seen coming.

Perhaps it seems odd to end a list of movies about not feeling safe at home with one about a woman who doesn't feel safe anywhere else. But of course, that only increases the tension when Anna's home also becomes a space of danger. The sense of upheaval that comes from one's safest place beginning to feel unsafe is disturbing to even contemplate, which makes it fertile ground for a horror story.