Aftershock (2012)

Posted: May 26, 2013 in Movie Review
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Aftershock 2012

Directed By: Nicolás López,

Starring: Eli Roth, Andea Osvart, Ariel Levy, Nicolas Martinez, Lorenza Izzo, Natasha Yarovenko

Subgenre: Survival

Synopsis: A group of partygoers must survive the aftermath of a massive earthquake.

Thoughts: While I’m not always a fan of his movies, I greatly admire Eli Roth’s zeal for the genre.  I love the fact that he is not cranking out movies left and right, but is still heavily involved with producing and acting in horror movies.  Such is the case with Aftershock.  I’ve heard that this is an Eli Roth movie from more than one person, but that is actually not the case.  He produced it and stars in it, but Nicolas Lopez is the Director. Roth had a hand in the story, so it has his fingerprints on it.

Aftershock is a mixture of the disaster genre and the survival genre.  The initial group survives an earthquake while in an underground night club, but then must deal with escaped prisoners as a result of the damage done.  It’s a great mixture and makes for a unique and entertaining storyline. It takes a while to set the table, but once the quake hits, the action is pretty intense and there are some pretty graphic deaths.

The international cast does an amicable job and meshes well together.  Lopez does a good job of establishing a couple of the characters in an attempt to endear them to the audience.  Oddly enough, most of the characters that get established early also die early on in the movie.  That really made the climax of the movie a bit dull for me. I didn’t feel a connection to the characters at the end and was really just waiting for the credits to roll at that point.  There is a bit of a twist towards the end of the movie that was also lost on me.

Aftershock is Lopez’s first American feature.  Looking over his filmography and career, he looks to have a pretty extensive history in his native Chile, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get some more work here in the States.

As I mentioned, there are some pretty graphic scenes in Aftershock, although the majority of them happen very quickly and it takes a moment or two for your brain to register what just happened.  The MPAA continues to hound Roth as Aftershock received an initial rating of NC-17. The obligatory edits were made to achieve an R Rating.

Aftershock is a fictional tale, but parts of it are based on the 2010 earthquake in Chile, which Lopez lived through.  Much like the movie, the destruction of Mother Nature was followed up by a complete collapse of social order.  That is the scariest part of the movie, that in a tragic event like a massive earthquake, people can show their true nature.  The poster for the movie has a fantastic line, “The only thing more terrifying that Mother Nature is human nature.”

Aftershock is not a masterpiece nor a revelation in the horror genre, but I think it is worth seeing, and supporting.  The more that fans can support independent efforts like this, the more movies that get released.

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