As the name in implies, this movie does have an earthquake and the titular aftershocks to follow. However, mother nature’s wrath is only part of the problem here. The scarier shit is carried out by people who decide to throw out all traces of humanity when the going gets rough and the world around them (literally) crumbles. Eli Roth produced, stars in, and even gets a writing credit in this film. It was directed by Nicolas Lopez who also wrote the script along with Guillermo Amoedo. I happen to be an Eli Roth fan. He seems to be one of those polarizing figures in the horror world that everyone either loves or hates. I’ve heard the arguments pro and con so please spare me if you don’t like him 😉 I am having a tricky time writing about this without any spoilers. So let me just get this out of the way. If the premise I provided above is enough to peak your interest, then watch this movie, come on back and join the conversation. The rest of the class is reading ahead.

**Spoilers below**

Movie poster with very telling tagline!

Movie poster with a very telling tagline!

Things I liked:

– The acting. The acting was pretty darn good. I personally feel that Eli Roth and Andrea Osvart were the stand out performers. But they both had some of the richer material to work with. Andrea’s character of Monica turns out to be the final girl, which wasn’t too much of shock since she presented herself as mature and levelheaded trying to keep her party-rockin’ sister under control. Well, she will be the final girl if she survived that foreboding tsunami in the last frame of the film. But she still gets a sticker for final girl status. Shes’s a tough chick. I’d put money on her getting out alive.

– Eli Roth is the only American lead in the cast! I like that they didn’t try to shoe-horn Americans in the roles that clearly weren’t meant for them. Large chunks of dialogue aren’t in English, and no there aren’t subtitles. This is a joint Chilean and USA film! Deal with it! :p

– Ariel’s severed hand and the unintentional game of soccer it becomes involved in. Actually, I was really impressed with the effects in general. That includes when Eli’s character of Gringo becomes a melted, gooey, molten mess.

– A fine use of the Axe as a weapon. Sometimes the old ways are the best ways. First we get the redemption of Pollo taking an axe to a rapist. Then Monica getting her revenge in honor of her sister. Gotta love vengeance kills, right?

Stuff I’m not sure I liked:

-I guess the first thing would have to be the rape-y bit. I feel on principle I need to state I’m not really cool with it. It’s not super graphic, nor very long. It’s not a deal breaker for me to have rape in a movie, as long as the rapist gets what is coming to them. Cause then you get to cheer at their demise.

– Gringo: you were dying under a damn cinder block, coughing up blood and clearly those thugs were not planning to help you out and let you go. Bravely, you told the two girls to hide and hence be not raped while Pollo and Monica went for help, that was your damn idea when you heard the bad dudes coming! And then you break and tell the thugs were the two girls are hiding so that they can get raped?! Dick move. I guess that was the “point” that even likable and usually good people can turn into savages. But honestly, I think that whole scene was a little weird. I mean, why would the thugs think that the girls were still around at all to the point of interrogating Gringo?? Wouldn’t they just assume that the girls/others went for help since Gringo is stuck under a chunk of cement?? It doesn’t even make sense to think they were still around. If something happens to your friend, you go for help. As far as the thugs know that means there would be three girls and one chubby man hiding nearby? I just feel that the whole set up was basically a vehicle for Gringo to crack under pressure and then turn into a crispy critter.

– I really liked Ariel and it was a bummer to see him plummet to his death! Still, it was actually more upsetting to see that hobo run off with the purse that had his hand in it. Ouch. Low blow.

– There is no doubt we could sit here and debate all about the “message” of this movie which pretty much states that humans are evil and will turn on each other before helping someone else. <–And yes, there are time in the movie when people are good and helpful. But the tagline of the movie is, “The only thing more terrifying than Mother nature is human nature.” I personally chose to just let the filmmakers tell the story and present their viewpoint. I don’t really like to debate philosophical matters. But if that’s your thing then I’m sure you will have lots to talk about with your like minded people.

Grade: B+. It was good! I’m glad that I watched it! There were things about it that made it better than the average movie. 

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