Not the Shock We Expected!

I’ve had my eye on this for quite a while and was looking forward to what I had hoped to be a fresh and stylish film from Chilean writer/director Nicolás López’s first US aimed film debut. Aftershock, being the latest Eli Roth production, comes with certain expectations, some of which were met, others not so much.

The film immediately opens with scenes of three men, Gringo (Roth), the practical guy, Pollo (Nicolás Martínez), the laid back ladies man and Pollo’s lifelong friend Ariel (Ariel Levy), the nervous type who is preoccupied with reconnecting with his ex-girlfriend, all vacationing in beautiful Chile, having a blast club hopping while looking for some beautiful women to spend the night with. Almost right away they meet three lovely ladies, Monica, Kylie and Irena and agree to travel with them to the town Valparaiso to check out the clubs there.

Just when they get comfortable, a massive 8.8 earthquake rocks the city and in an instant their paradise is turned upside down and they are left fighting for their lives. Quickly they find not only is the city crumbling around them, but a local prison has collapsed sending gangs of murderous thugs into the city raping, killing and pillaging everything they can find. To make matters worse a tsunami warning siren continuously blasts, making their bad situation into a real life nightmare.

All in all, it was a solid, watchable film. Things happen very fast with people all around them continuously meeting violent, grisly deaths. It is a bit hard to relate to exactly what is happening in the film. My biggest gripe would be how it lacks realism, not just in one area but really in most areas. Even with more than thirty plus minutes of character development, I found it hard to truly care about the cast. The film felt surreal at times, times when just the opposite was needed for the film to really click with its audience. It’s not a great disaster film or a great thriller/horror film, but in combining the two it does make for a decent overall film and a good way to kill ninety minutes.

Grade: B-

Review by Jim Davis special to Influx Magazine

Want more Aftershock? Read Steve Pulaski’s review here.