Combustible Celluloid
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With: Eli Roth, Andrea Osvárt, Ariel Levy, Nicolás Martínez, Lorenza Izzo, Natasha Yarovenko, Selena Gomez
Written by: Guillermo Amoedo, Nicolás López, Eli Roth
Directed by: Nicolás López
MPAA Rating: R for strong bloody violence including rape, language, drug content and some nudity
Running Time: 90
Date: 10/05/2013

Aftershock (2013)

1/2 Star (out of 4)

Let Them Eat Quake

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Eli Roth has a cult following for directing the gory Hostel torture movies, as well as the ripoff Cabin Fever, but lately has become more of a celebrity, appearing onscreen in various cameos and silly roles in other movies. Now he has co-written a lead role for himself and handed over the directorial reins to Chilean filmmaker Nicolás López. The result is supposed to be a subversive hybrid of disaster movies and gory horror, but it's uncertain where the two actually meet.

A clueless American (Roth) is vacationing in Chile with some buddies (Ariel Levy and Nicolas Martinez), enjoying nightclubs, drinking, partying, and wine tasting. Not long after meet some pretty girls (Andrea Osvart, Lorenza Izzo, and Natasha Yarovenko), a terrible earthquake rocks the nation. It collapses buildings, crushes people and causes general chaos. Worse, a prison crumbles, and evil, raping, murdering inmates are now on the loose, terrorizing survivors. Their only hope is a secret tunnel that goes beneath an ancient church, but can they make it that far, and if they do, what awaits them down there?

At times Aftershock seems to be trying to be funny -- with disastrous results -- and at other times, it's heart-stoppingly serious, as in the horrifying rape scene. It spends at least a third of its running time establishing the "characters" that will soon be terrorized, but they still seem, for the most part, horribly flat and highly unlikable. It's just as well since the filmmakers also don't seem to care about them. Selena Gomez appears in the only good scene, coldly rebuffing Roth's advances in a nightclub.

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