Monday, 26 August 2013

Aftershock (2012)

Directed by Nicolas Lopez, Aftershock is yet another movie that many people will most readily associate with Eli Roth. Why? Well, he produced the movie, helped write the screenplay (with Lopez and Guillermo Amoedo) and also takes on one of the lead roles. Roth is great at engaging with fans and publicising movies that he's involved with, but the downside is that everyone just thinks of them as "Eli Roth movies" - if you think I am talking nonsense then just ask a random selection of a dozen people who directed The Last Exorcism. See?

But I digress.

Roth plays a character only known as Gringo, a young man who is enjoying some time in Chile with a couple of friends/acquaintances (Ariel Levy and Nicolas Martinez) when the memorable partying is rudely interrupted by an even more memorable earthquake. The earthquake causes no small amount of damage and death, but the survivors soon realise that the dark side of mother nature can be matched by the dark side of human nature.

If you had a problem with Hostel (a movie I love, but some seem to think that it shows up Roth as a complete xenophobe) then you're really not going to like the general misanthropy on display here. As well as showing a situation in Chile that goes downhil fast this just casts everyone as dangerous, selfish pieces of crap who often don't take much to be pushed into committing terrible crimes.

The acting is uneven, to put it nicely. Roth is okay in his role, but not great. Levy and Martinez are worse, and their characters are just so hard to sympathise with that viewers just won't care when all hell breaks loose. Andrea Osvart, Natasha Yarovenko and Lorenza Izzo are all pretty enough, but not that great at actually acting, so viewers won't care about them either.

Director Lopez at least gets the carnage and nastiness right. When that's onscreen the movie is at least entertaining. Some fine gore gags pop up here and there, and there are one or two squirm-inducing moments. If only the grue and violence had been accompanied by decent characters and a solid script then this could have been a solid, fun, horror-tinged, disaster movie. As it stands, it's a disappointment.

Oh, and avoid the trailer for this one as it commits the cardinal sin of revealing the very end of the movie. Who the hell designs trailers and thinks that showing the final moment is a good idea?????


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