In Chile, a group of travelers who are in an underground nightclub when a massive earthquake hits quickly learn that reaching the surface is just the beginning of their nightmare.
Get ready for a film that is part comedy, part horror and part disaster film. ‘Aftershock’ blends all of these genres and comes away with a very powerful and gut wrenching look at a group of friends who are out enjoying the night life in Chile and while in a club the entire building comes down around them, killing many and injuring more, including one of their own. As they make their way out of the club and discover the entire town is in ruin, they find themselves trying to survive a town in ruin, continuing aftershocks and tsunami warnings to boot while being confronted with the true evil of human nature that often evolves in dire circumstances.
The first thirty or so minutes of the film plays more like a raunchy comedy than anything else, while around a third of the way in all of the fun and games cease and we enter the next section of the film which is a combination horror and disaster film for the most part. The combination of genres works but with Eli Roth so heavily involved (Roth co-wrote, starred and produced while Nicolas Lopez directed and co-wrote) you can’t help but see a number of similarities between the formula used here to that used in Roth’s second film ‘Hostel’ but while noticeable the relation doesn’t really harm the film in any way. If you have a formula that works there is no reason to use it I suppose and it certainly does work nicely in order to establish the characters and get the viewer to a point where they care about their fates.
The cast is composed mostly of unknowns aside from Eli Roth and a brief appearance by Selena Gomez, but all of them give impressive performances that really help you feel for these characters. One of my favorite elements of the film I unfortunately cannot mention here for it would ruin the effect while viewing, but let’s just say that the film pulls a few surprises and provides some very interesting takes on common formulas and switches them up in a very clever way of which the result is quite impressive. I found it one of the highlighting factors of this film and also a large part of the reason that I enjoyed it as much as I did.
‘Aftershock’ certainly holds up on multiple viewings too which is always a plus if you are like me and purchases films far more than you rent them. I watched it when first released in theaters & on demand and if anything my second viewing (this Blu-Ray) was more enjoyable than the first and I can certainly see myself watching this one a number more times in the future. It’s certainly a title I would recommend picking up on Blu-Ray if you were considering doing so.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Aftershock features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio. As is usually always the case with Anchor Bay & Weinstein releases the video presentation looks great. The video is sharp, smooth, detailed and not lacking in any way that I could find and as usual supplied a very healthy bit rate. Fans of the film should have no complaints as to the video quality on this Blu-Ray release.
The Blu-Ray features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack which really hits hard. Voices are always crisp and audible, even with the plethora of background noises swimming around the other speakers throughout the majority of the film. In the bar scene when everything starts coming down the lossless audio track really gets a chance to prove itself and it certainly does not disappoint. All of the background noises including crashes and falling debris is perfectly placed, and the bass is never afraid to really hit full force in certain sequences. Everyone should be thoroughly pleased with this DTS-HD MA audio track.
While the Blu-Ray of ‘Aftershock’ does not feature a large number of special features, it certainly has a few nice goodies. The special features on the disc include: ‘Audio Commentary with Eli Roth and director Nicolas Lopez’, a featurette on ‘The Making of Aftershock’ and a feature titled ‘Shaking Up The Casting Process’ which is an amusing video of actors trying out for the movie that get put into a simulated aftershock scenario in a changing room as a joke.
Film Rating: 7/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
‘Aftershock’ will be available to own on Blu-Ray & DVD Tuesday, August 6 from Anchor Bay Entertainment, Radius-TWC & Dimension Films.