After an earthquake erupts in Chile, tourist discover that a neighboring prison in the area collapsed in the event, and all surviving criminals managed to break free. Soon they learn that the most terrifying thing, more threatening that Mother Nature, is what she created.
In Santiago, the American Gringo is spending vacation with his Chilean friends Ariel and the wealthy and influent Pollo. They meet the Russian tourists Irina, the promiscuous Kylie and her protective sister Monica and Pollo invites them to go with his friends and him to Valparaiso. During the night, they go to a nightclub but an earthquake collapses the club and there is a warning of tsunami. The group tries to find a safe place in the middle of the chaos. Meanwhile a nearby prison also collapses and dangerous criminals escape. When they see the women on the streets, they hunt them down along the nightmarish night.
A bunch of tourists are in Chile to party, but when an earthquake hits the city, they need to fight for survival, not only against the natural disaster, but also against criminals who seized the opportunity to escape from prison.
I would have rated 'Aftershock' higher than 6 of 10 if it wasn't for the boring first 30 minutes. We get introduced to characters who are so dumb that we really wouldn't care if they all get buried by the earthquake. This lengthy introduction turns out to be a waste of time, anyway, because some of them are killed off early, while other characters who are more important for the movie get 3 seconds of back story ('Trust me, I'm a firefighter').
However, after the quake it gets thrilling, violent, suspenseful with a lot of action, which made the movie worth watching after all. I was not surprised to learn in the making of (watched on DVD) that several of the makers of 'Aftershock' have previous experience in comedy rather than horror, it's the timing of some scenes that tells it. For example the lady who shows the tunnel and then makes the mistake to stick her head first - that's the 'oops' timing of a comedy, not a horror movie. But it works and makes the movie more original. Also the background with a catastrophe that destroys the usual human behaviour so quickly is believable. Not too bad after all, but I recommend to press fast forward at the beginning. A group of friends in Chili hit up the night clubs for some fun. A massive earthquake hits and destroys half the city, releasing the prisoners that end of unleashing more destruction and hell in the streets.
An interesting concept that tries to blend the disaster genre with the horror genre. The result is a mixed bag of depravity, low budget effects & set-ups and hatred for the so called characters we are suppose to engage with. Aftershock doesn't care about much, it wants to throw everything and the kitchen sink at you. This film reminds me a lot of Kevin Smith's "Red State" in that it subverts genres and goes in different directions just when you think you know what is going to happen next. While I admire Smith's pulling of the rug from under our feet, Aftershock never manages to reach the same level. Instead it is stuck in this redundant pool of lukewarm unnecessary-ness.
Eli Roth produces and stars in the film, I've always said he should stay behind the camera because his on screen talent is severely lacking. Yet he always finds himself in front of the camera, making himself seem more important than he should be. Roth has some good films under his belt, he without a doubt knows the genre of horror. He needs to stick to producing and directing. Get more unique horror films out there, stop worrying about the Roth who acts, cause no one cares.
What the film lacks in special effects in makes up for in absurdity. Here is a film that is about destruction, yet it chooses (mainly because they have to) showcase the aftermath. The scenes of chaos happen in tight close ups, shaky cam and whatever else they can think of to disorient the viewer from seeing anything. It seems they saved the budget in the special effects department for the final shot, which one can see coming once the character gets to that location, yawn.
Aftershock loves to put characters in bad situations, then kick them when they are down. It might be hard to watch for some people. The film has no problem having one character be raped twice, then shot. This is after another one has been burned alive. This is the so called twist in the film, when we stop focusing on the destruction from mother earth and are focused on human nature. These characters aren't even the prisoners though, these are random street thugs or what have you, that see the women in the streets and decide to chase after them, thus ensuring a lot of death and sorrow for the characters the film has taken so long to set up.
No, we don't get any prisoner action until the final act of the film, which takes another turn with another twist. One that will have you scratching your head in confusion, but Aftershock is too crazy and absurd, that you end up just going with it.
This isn't much of a disaster flick, nor does it seem to be good horror. It's a low budget miss- match of bad taste. People become mere punch lines: fleshy avatars for the gory grist. a5c7b9f00b
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