Sunday, August 11, 2013


Talk about your disaster movie! That was my initial thought 30 minutes into AFTERSHOCK. This film has it all; comedy, romance, drama, thrills, and horror. The tonal shifts are jarring at times, you'll be laughing and then the next second someone gets crushed or impaled with a steel rod. The sudden loss of a friend to be followed by a fart joke. Okay, the fart joke really didn't happen but you get the point. Once things get going AFTERSHOCK really earns it's horror movie credentials. And as far as disaster movies go I'd rather watch AFTERSHOCK any day of the week then sit through 2012 ever again.

AFTERSHOCK is director Nicolas Lopez's first stab at the horror genre. His filmography is mostly romantic comedies. Somewhere along his career he met horror master Eli Roth. Fans of each others work they decided to collaborate with one another and make a horror comedy. Inspired by horrific footage and stories about the earthquake/tsunami that hit Chile in 2010.

This is a Eli Roth co-production so you know already it's going to involve horny guys trying to hook up with hot chicks at a club. Yep, you're right. Co-written by Roth he also stars as Gringo who is visiting some college buddies in Chile. During his visit and sight seeing him and his friends try to hook up with the lovely ladies of Chile. One night they get into one of the hottest clubs and this is where a good chuck of the romantic comedy in the film takes place. We have Gringo striking out with every girl he meets. His friend Ariel wants to party but is trying to patch this up with his on again off again girlfriend. Then we have the life of the party Pollo, the confident friend who seems to always get the girls.

The guys hook up with three gorgeous women and a little love triangle ensues. The party seems to be going good and then the earthquake happens. Kudos to the director for using practical effects as much as he could. This isn't Syfy Channel crap with CGI debris falling everywhere.

Our main characters all barely make it out of the club alive. Once out on the streets that's when the real mayhem begins. Mass hysteria, looters, and escaped prison inmates. With tragedy happening at every corner will Gringo and his friends survive the night?

My biggest annoyance with AFTERSHOCK was not knowing when to laugh or be horrified? Some of the beats worked and some did not. Especially the end where the film becomes a slasher film for no reason? One of the things that surprisingly worked for me was Eli Roth's Gringo. I really wasn't digging this character (or his performance) at the beginning but as the film went on something real genuine started to show.

AFTERSHOCK would work best a double or triple feature exploitation movie night. On it's own you might think you just wasted 90 minutes of your life away.


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