Friday, October 11, 2013

Horror Thoughts ‘13—Aftershock (2013) *½

R, 89 min.
Director: Nicolás López
Writers: Eli Roth, Nicolás López, Guillermo Amoedo
Starring: Andrea Osvárt, Nicolás Martínez, Eli Roth, Lauren Izzo, Ariel Levy, Natasha Yarovenko, Marcial Tagle

“Aftershock” is the torture porn version of a real life disaster. Inspired by the stories about a nightclub collapsing during an earthquake in Chile, torture porn horror maestro Eli Roth a scripted a mindless movie about the mindless people who get stuck in an earthquake disaster where everyone takes it as a queue to become savages, all the while a tsunami is brewing to crush them all in a tidal wave of epic proportions than can somehow climb the cliffs of Rio de Janeiro.

There is so much wrong with this movie, it’s hard to know where to start. I suppose its heart is in the right place? For one thing, we get far too much of these people doing… what? Nothing… before they finally find themselves in the middle of an earthquake in a nightclub. I don’t believe Roth or his fellow filmmaking recruits know how to handle serious real life material. One of the main characters looses a hand during the initial quake and they spend a couple minutes chasing it around the club as crazed patrons kick it around, blindly trying to escape the falling club. Really? We’re supposed to watch a rubber hand bounce around like an enlarged bloody eraser and not laugh? Maybe it’s supposed to be funny. I don’t know.

My real problem throughout the entire crisis, because it’s always supposed to be there in the back of our minds, is that tsunami. Now, I’m no disaster expert, but I believe the topography of Chile and the Rio area in particular, would mean a very different result for a tsunami than what happened in the Malaysian peninsula. The characters are running up stairs and climbing higher in to the City of God for quite some time, surely the tsunami will only reach so far inland.

Also if there is an earthquake in Rio, how does this cause a tsunami that hits the Chilean coast several hours later? I don’t remember hearing anything about a tsunami when the real Chilean earthquake struck. Perhaps it was just a matter of poor international reporting here in the States. That’s certainly possible, but I find it more possible that the tsunami is just one of the many elements of bullshit Roth and his co-writers came up with to put their poor characters through. 

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