Two fun loving guys (Ariel Levy, Nicolás Martínez) and Gringo (Eli Roth) meet a hot Russian model and her two European friends while vacationing in Chile. Character is built for half the film, about 10 minutes too long. We get to know the characters fairly well in this time and they are all flawed. The earthquake hits and anarchy reigns supreme as criminals escape from a prison.
Outside of Nicolas Martinez as a Chilean Zach Galifianakis, I found the film boring, even with the young hot chicks. I didn't feel the horror or terror of what is more like a bad street snuff film.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Good idea for a horror movie, disappointing and uneven results.May 13 2013
- Published on Amazon.com
Aftershock is a horror movie with a unique and interesting plot: A disaster set within a disaster movie. Imagine a Hollywood disaster movie, with a smaller budget, mixed with the horror we've come to expect from Eli Roth (albeit toned down), and you've got Aftershock. However, the movie doesn't live up to that crazy premise.
The plot: Three friends (one of which is portrayed by Eli Roth) party in Chile. We spend the first half of the film meeting these guys, and learning about each of them. They meet a trio of women, and party with them throughout Chile too, both sightseeing and club hopping. While in an underground dance club in the city, an earthquake hits. Following that initial earthquake, we follow the survivors as they face many obstacles, including aftershocks from the initial blast, missing limbs, looters in the streets, loud storm sirens signalling an incoming tsunami, and freed prisoners who escaped when the initial earthquake opened up the prison. It sounds more complicated than it is, and the movie is pretty straight forward. The build-up to the disaster takes forever though, and we spend half of the film meeting the characters before the earthquake, when 20 minutes would have done the trick.
There isn't much to note in terms of acting, as no one stands out, but no one is annoying enough to warrant loads of complaints. Usually with a film like this, actors find themselves in the difficult position of not being able to act and reading a really terrible script. Not the case here, as it is just what it is. The tone and acting can be strange at times given the dire circumstances the characters find themselves in, but I did not find it to be enough to take me out of the film. Cameos by Selena Gomez (one of the 'it' actors/actresses of the moment) and RZA (Roth's buddy apparently) are thrown in for good measure as well. We will most likely catch Lorenza Izzo and Andrea Osvart in other films after this, since attractive women tend to be casting director bait for horror movies of any kind.
The movie mainly relies on practical effects and creepy atmosphere, thanks to director Nicolas Lopez. There are bits of CGI, but it is used few and far between. Now this usually works in favor of horror movies, especially ones today that rely too much on computers, however, a movie with the premise above and a horror name like Roth attached to it warrant a lot more creative use of special effects, as much of the horror is implied rather than shown. Implied violence does play into this movie's favor in parts, such as when one of the young ladies is assaulted by freed prisoners. It works in certain horror movies, but a movie like this needs some good "OH S***" moments throughout to warrant a good time in the theater for the viewing experience. Those moments do exist however: one of the main character's death scenes, is quite vivid, and fits with what I was talking about. But some are definitely better than others.
This brings me to the biggest problem of this movie... The trailer (in this case, the red band trailer) is supposed to hype you up for a film, and put you in the seat come theater time. And this trailer did just that, providing enough of those aforementioned "OH S***" moments. The problem then? THE TRAILER SHOWS ENTIRELY TOO MUCH. The biggest and best money shots of the film had been previously shown in the trailer, leaving nothing to be shocked by or nothing new to the imagination. I won't spoil if for those that will still watch, but if you are already hooked by the description, do not watch the trailer, and just go see this movie. You will appreciate it much more if you don't know what's going to happen.
Eli Roth has an interesting track record. I really want to like this guy, because his passion for horror and film in general is very infectious. This does not translate with an abundance of movies that he's written and directed (Hostel 1 and 2) or produced (Aftershock, The Man with the Iron Fists, Hemlock Grove) and it is beginning to wear thin on my interest for him in general. He does have spots where his horror genius shine through (the fake trailer, Thanksgiving, from Grindhouse, or his roles in Piranha 3D and Inglorious Basterds). If you are a fan of his, or unique horror in general, I'd still wearily recommend this to you. It has enough to keep thrill seekers and gore hounds pleased, as long as you steer clear from any more than you have to watch before seeing the film. Nicolas Lopez has talent, so maybe next time he will make something that provides more than this film does.
23 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Natural Disaster Torture PornMay 12 2013
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What ever happened to watching a movie to get some type of fun or enjoyment out of it? Eli Roth happened. The film Aftershock is pretty much Hostel with Eli Roth as the lead character instead of director. You will leave this movie with a feeling of despair, and hopelessness. If you are looking to feel this way save your money and watch the daily news. With a slow start that leads into something that might be a thrilling disaster film turns into a sick tale of rape, brutality, a random Selena Gomez for 1 minute, and baby corpses. The special fx are comparable to a cheesy sci-fi flick you would find in the low budget section of Walmart's 5.00 DVD bin. The only plus this feature had for it was attractive women, and a fun soundtrack. Other then that Aftershock was a pile of pure rubbish.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Faces Of Death: Volume RothAug. 11 2013
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First of all, this is an Eli Roth film. If you don't know who he is, he's the man responsible for Cabin Fever and the line of Hostel films, all of which are grim, violent movies. (Leader of the "Splat Pack," some journalists have dubbed him.) CABIN FEVER I actually enjoyed, but only because it had a sense of humor about what it was doing, and you get the impression from some of Roth's other work (specifically some of his cameo appearances as well as his work with Tarantino) that he doesn't take himself too seriously. That's to his credit, because when your movie is an onslaught of relentless doom, gloom, and death, it helps to toss in a joke or two to help soften the blow or else you end up narrowing your audience down to masochists, suicidal goths, and aging serial killers who miss the good old days.
This movie is about a random group of people in Chile who experience a massive earthquake and then must deal with the horrific aftermath, including aftershocks, looting, crumbling buildings, and general anarchy. The movie is notable for refusing completely to follow any kind of traditional story conventions. I can't decide if they were trying to be avant-garde or if they thought it would lend the story (as much as there is any kind of story) more impact, but a lot of choices left me scratching my head. For instance:
-- Nothing happens for thirty minutes. We meet three guys -- Gringo is white and Ariel and Pollo are Spanish/Latin American -- who are partying hard down in South America. They party and talk about/hit on girls and dance for about thirty minutes. There are a few stabs at character development (the white guy has a daughter; the fat guy has a rich daddy who's funding his fun; the skinny guy is obsessed with an ex-girlfriend), but mostly nothing happens.
-- Approximately 60-70% of the dialogue is in Spanish, and at least in the version of the movie I watched, there were no subtitles. I actually looked around for a version with translations, but I couldn't find any. If you know Spanish, you'll get more of the movie than otherwise. It's not that hard to get the basic gist of what the Spanish-speakers are saying (maybe this decision was meant to make non-Spanish speaking viewers as disoriented as the foreigners in the film), but it is also off-putting.
-- Protagonists? Forget about it. There seems like there could be, but ultimately isn't, any kind of lead character that you can hang your hopes on or root for. The film starts by following the three guys, but people join and leave the group intermittently as the disaster causes them to run for their lives. Maybe they thought that if audiences realized anyone could die at any moment then it would give the movie more tension and suspense, but what it really does is make it impossible to get too attached to anyone at all, making the chaos and killing even more mind-numbing.
Relentlessly nihilistic to its final frame, this movie is only entertaining if you enjoy watching people suffer for literally no reason at all. At least with the Hostel films (at least the first one), you could argue a point is being made about the corruption of power and wealth, and there's definitely a hero figure who satisfies even a splinter of the audience's empathy. This film, however, has no deeper message (other than that life sucks and then you die) and no satisfying level of personal engagement unless you have the heart of a barbarian and get your kicks from vicarious raping and slaughtering.
I give the film points for most of its actors doing decent jobs (Roth's general aura of smugness implies that he's a much better actor than I think he is) and for also pulling off a lot of horrific stuff with an obviously small SFX budget, but the overall film is so brainlessly dark and despondent that it made me wonder how anyone with such a vision in their heads would also have the motivation to put it up on the silver screen. Seems to me anyone with this kind of outlook on life would be more compelled to take a bath with a toaster than actually write a script about it. Movies are usually made to a) tell an interesting story, b) entertain, or c) teach lessons about life. This movie doesn't do any of those things unless you think the cold, tarry abyss of your waiting grave is a) intriguing, b) enjoyable, or c) a profound morality play. If you do, congratulations, you're among this film's target audience and should enjoy it. Otherwise, I'd steer my ship to calmer waters if I were you.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Waste of timeFeb. 17 2014
- Published on Amazon.com
If you liked the preview to the movie, that was the movie. It is a total waste of time to watch anymore.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Fun disaster film!July 13 2013
- Published on Amazon.com
Eli Roth is the main reason I was drawn to this movie:he has become a reliable horror film director/producer. Regular set up; friends are on vacation and looking for fun. An earthquake hits and leaves a trail of dead bodies and sets loose the convicts in the prison. The only complaint I have about this movie is the "rape scene". The director is adamant that there is not a "frame of rape" in the movie, but I really don't see how it can be viewed any other way. I found it disappointing simply because Eli Roth's name was also attached to the film; his films have always been free of this kind of violence. Anyway, it's a fun disaster movie with an especially awesome ending.