Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Directed by Nicolás López.
2013. Rated R, 89 minutes.
Ariel Levy
Nicolás Martínez
Andrea Osvárt
Natasha Yarovenko
Lorenza Izzo
Ramón Llao
Matías López
Álvaro López Álvarez

Gringo (Roth) is an American in Chile partying it up with Ariel (Levy) and Pollo (Martínez). He is the divorced father of a little girl he talks about often and for whom he drops everything to take her phone call. That includes when dad is in a loud bar trying to get a little nookie. And yes, it is all sorts of creepy watching middle-aged Roth hit on the barely legal Selena Gomez, making a cameo appearance. Thankfully, she turns him down and he turns his attentions to one of the three girls he and his buddies pal around for a few days.

Okay, sorry. I’ve just wasted an entire paragraph because none of this actually matters. The movie wastes your time with this as well as this portion of it goes on forever. The only thing that matters is that while Gringo, his buddies and the girls they are hanging with are at a nightclub an earthquake strikes and does enough damage to kill most of the people there. Plenty of folks outside die, as well. The whole city is a madhouse as everyone is trying to get somewhere safe. This includes our heroes who mostly survive the club. However, Ariel did lose a hand trying to help a bartender. Well, he didn’t actually lose it. They are carrying it around in hopes of getting him to a hospital so it can be reattached. The mass panic worsens when the sound of sirens is heard in the streets, a warning to everyone there might be a tsunami on the way. As if all of this weren’t bad enough, the crew is also running from a murderous gang of rapists they happen to cross paths with. Sounds like fun.

Unfortunately, Aftershock is not nearly as fun as it could ge. For starters, it takes way too long to get to the good stuff. We spend the first act getting to know these people in an obvious and ridiculously drawn out attempt at character development. Ordinarily, I’m all for movies trying to make me care about the people on the screen. Here, it completely backfires. First off, the acting is all sorts of horrible. Second, it probably wouldn’t matter if they were all brilliant performers because almost all of them are unlikeable. Even worse, their sexual misadventures are just plain boring. It feels like an infinitely extended version to the dreadful opening of the otherwise solid Cloverfield.

Finally, the tone never feels quite right. Much of the time it is stone-face serious. However, we get the sense that this material would benefit from a more tongue in cheek approach. On those rare occasions it displays a twisted sense of humor, the movie shines. For instance, the scene of Ariel trying to recover his severed hand as it is being trampled and kicked about the floor by stampeding party-goers is downright brilliant. Had the entire movie been made that way, we might have a cult classic on our hands. Instead, the gore piles up, women are brutalized just because, anyone who gets in the way of this is murdered, and it all ends on a disheartening note. None of this is done with even a hint of the fun had during the hand scene. It’s all just a misogynistic and nihilistic fantasy that makes a dated referendum on people with tattoos.

MY SCORE: 2/10


  1. Ouch. That's a bummer, I love Eli Roth.

    1. Yeah, sad. It probably would have been better if Roth had directed instead of just acting in it.