Movie Review: Aftershock
When Eli Roth released Hostel, I had no intentions of ever going to Eastern Europe after I saw it. And now, he has helped ruin any future trips to Chile for me with the release of Aftershock. The horror/thriller is directed by Nicolas Lopez while Roth produced, co-wrote and starred in the film that makes you question whether Mother Nature or human nature is more dangerous.
The movie follows Gringo (Roth), an American tourist in Chile that, with his friends Ariel (Ariel Levy) and Pollo (Nicolas Martinez), are just trying to have a good time. They hit up nightclub after nightclub having fun and searching for women. They do eventually meet three women and everything seems to be going great until an earthquake hits causing panic everywhere. But that is just the beginning as the aftershocks continue to destroy the country and all hell breaks loose. Looters begin to terrorize the streets and convicts escape a prison that has been destroyed. The group must try to stay alive and look for safety in a country that is in a state of panic and it only gets worse.
After watching the first 30 minutes, I will admit that I was a little disappointed. The film does start off very slow but once the pace quickens, it is a thrill ride. And while the first portion of the movie was slow, it was good to see the characters built up and have a chance to care about the characters. When everything begins to go wrong, I found myself caring what happened to the characters. That is not something that you can typically say for a horror/thriller movie.
When the action did pick up, it was non-stop. I was left wondering what could go wrong next and what are they going to do. The surviving group that is fleeing for lives have to deal with paranoid citizens, escaped convicts, and Mother Nature herself. You never know where the next threat will come from. It was a good change to see not just one killer or even just a human killer. Mother Nature showed her ugly side in this movie and it was scary as hell. The fact that this could very well happen is a haunting reminder of the disasters we face in this world.
Outside of the plot, the cast was very good in the film. Roth did a great job in the main role as Gringo, a father that is in Chile trying to have fun before heading back home. Levy and Martinez are great as his friends and they deliver with laughter when needed and panic when it is called for later. They are joined on screen by the three females that meet at a club: Irina (Natasha Yarovenko), Kylie (Lorenza Izzo), and Monica (Andrea Osvart). They are a great complement to the guys and each have their own main role. Irina is the model, Kylie is the party girl, and Monica is all business. The odd group bonds together perfectly and when disaster hits they drop their acts and get serious.
Overall, the film was very good. I think I may have been expecting something different, but I was pleased when the credits began to roll. The look of the film was amazing. They made Chile look like a no-brainer destination one minute then made it look like the last place on Earth I would ever visit (besides Eastern Europe). The direction of film was good and the story was unique and well told. Like I mentioned before, there is plenty of time to get to know the characters that will soon be fighting for their lives. And while it may seem to be dull at times, it pays off when you feel yourself caring what happens to them when disaster strikes. The movie was well done and worth the watch. Overall, I would certainly recommend it to fans of Roth and horror in general. While it may not be a straight horror film, the end results are horrific enough to make you squirm with uneasiness.