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Aftershock (2012)

Cover art:

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Aftershock (2012)Starring Eli Roth, Ariel Levy, Nicolas Martinez, Natasha Yarovenko, Lorenza Izzo, Andrea Osvart

Directed by Nicolas Lopez


Anyone who is making plans to vacation in Chile will most likely cancel them after watching director Nicolas Lopez and Eli Roth’s collaborative effort, Aftershock. The film is being promoted as a gruesome natural disaster film; however, viewers will be surprised as it takes a shockingly twisted turn by whirling exploitation on its head and is guaranteed to make filmgoers gasp for all the right and wrong reasons.

Slightly mirroring the plot of Hostel, writer/producer Roth stars as an American tourist visiting his buddy Ariel (Ariel Levy) in Santiago, Chile. They are joined by Ariel’s friend Pollo (Nicolas Martinez) as the trio set out to nightclubs full of drunken debauchery in hopes of hooking up with beautiful women.

The trio fatefully meet single mother Irina (Natasha Yarovenko), party gal Kylie (Lorenza Izzo) and Kylie’s older and protective half-sister, Monica (Andrea Osvart); and together the group embark on a vacation they hope to always remember—and unfortunately for them, their wish comes true when a fatal earthquake hits at a dance club one night, leaving one member of the group severely injured. The group then must fight to stay alive in the chaotic streets of Chile and quickly discover that earthquakes and tsunami warnings are the least of their worries when a group of escaped rapists and murderers from prison start terrorizing the streets and a whole new level of trepidation unfolds.

The first half of Aftershock manages to entertain its audience with light comedy, beautifully shot scenery and a great scene of gasp-worthy kills when the initial earthquake hits that is sure to make gorehounds applaud. However, just like the town itself, the second half of Aftershock starts to crumble and fall apart as the audience must witness degrading and graphic rape scenes (which caused many walk-outs at the screening) and predictable and ineptly written plot twists that will leave many viewers infuriated.

It should be noted that both Lopez and Roth were inspired by real-life news stories and events that plagued Chile during an earthquake while making this film, and to some it will be enough to validate the explicit and brutal nature of the film. Unfortunately, because of the “buddy comedy” feel of the first half of the movie, the moments of viciousness in the second half simply glorify real-life violence instead of invoking genuine feelings of dread whenever visions of extreme human ugliness and degradation are displayed onscreen.

Despite its major flaws, Aftershock will still manage to shake devout horror fans to the core, even though it is guaranteed to make any average filmgoer’s blood boil.

3 out of 5

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Serena Whitney