by Chris Lovato
Since it is Halloween month, we thought it would be fun to have new KRL writer, Chris Lovato, share with us in our Monday Movie Reviews some movies on his Halloween Must Watch Movie list. Feel free in the comments to share some of your own!
Welcome to Valparaiso, Chile–home to Chile’s cultural center, beautiful ocean vistas, and…earthquakes?
Aftershock, a film by Chilean director, Nicolás López, joined the brotherhood of natural disaster films in 2012, but lives up to its name by exploring what happens after a catastrophe hits.
When a massive earthquake interrupts a good time at a club, the new friends dive headfirst into the chaos that follows, but the danger doesn’t stop there. Unlike other disaster films, López uses aspects of Chilean culture to introduce new perils to the protagonists: “gated communities” (literally), funicular railways and gangs. Everything tests the bonds between the main cast in the growing terror, more so as the group gets picked off one by one, culminating in a quite shocking conclusion. The cast handles all of this with valor, struggling to keep their composure as events unfold.
A cast, mostly unknown in American audiences, paints a very colorful picture of the kind of people that visit Valparaiso. Fans of Cabin Fever and Inglorious Basterds will recognize Gringo, an inept and goofy American tourist played by horror director, Eli Roth. Lorenza Isso fills the role of the partying American Kylie, and she’s joined by her fellow cast members from López’s Que Pena… series: Ariel Levy (Ariel) and Nicolás Martínez (Pollo). Natasha Yarovenko rounds out the main cast as Isso’s disapproving older stepsister, Irina, and even Selena Gomez of Disney fame, makes a cameo.
An important thing to note: this movie contains a graphic rape scene. If this is too much to stomach, I’d recommend fast forwarding. I had trouble watching it myself.
Each cast member faces their own challenges and of course, the deaths are what one would expect of a collaborative effort between López and Roth–bloody and numerous. This, however, plays second banana to the effects of the earthquake.
The special effects in Aftershock brought the disaster to life, from the ruined funicular cars to the streets and alleys, all coming together to create a treacherous maze for our characters to navigate. Every aftershock brings new dangers and by the end of the film, makes either the best haunted house idea ever, or the worst.
Overall, Aftershock brought a story and cast together to create something that, despite a small theater release, is worth watching again. Although it’s been out for a year or so, I’d definitely add this film to a Halloween Must Watch List.
Fear Factor 4/5