Chilean Cinema 2014 #20: Aftershock (2012)

(Chile, USA 2012 89m) Screener

p Miguel Asensio, Mac Cappuccino, Brian Oliver, Eli Roth, Howard Young d Nicolás López  w Guillermo Amoedo, Nicolás López, Eli Roth ed Diego Macho Gómez c Antonio Quercia s Manuel Riveiro

a Eli Roth, Andrea Osvárt, Ariel Levy, Natasha Yarovenko, Nicolás Martínez, Lorenza Izzo, Marcial Tagle, Ramón Llao, Ignacia Allamand, Paz Bascuñan, Matías López, Patricio Strahovsky, Álvaro López Álvarez, Adrián Salgado, Enrique Quiroz, Orlando Alfaro, Dayana Amigo, Eduardo Domínguez, Gabriela Hernández, Edgardo Bruna, Selena Gómez, Cristina Sánchez Pascual, Igal Furman, Vicky Silva, Benito Quercia, Stephany Schroer, Francisca Concha, Carlos Martínez, Caterina Araya, Ingrid Leyton, Baltazar Amaya, Camilo Amaya, Ignacio Verdugo, Nicolás Carrasco, Amaro Díaz, Pablo Courard, Teo Asensio, Ashley Cook, Marcos de Aguirre, Marcela de la Carrera, Amparo Hernandez

This is a stupid, offensive and not very good movie. I’ve waited a long time to finally have a stab at this movie, talk about it, say some stuff about what it made me feel when I saw it last year. As I was watching I couldn’t help myself and I started to speak to as much people as I could that they had to stay the fuck away from this movie. I even mentioned it on twitter, facebook, and practically every other social network that I could find. Once I finished it, I wrote this review on letterboxd:

“Wow. How could this fail so hard? Easy, have Nicolás López as your director! This movie is just abysmal, when you think you’ve seen bad, well, this movie comes around to tell you that there’s even worst things out there. The direction here is just senseless and defies any logic, as well as the script that seems to have been constructed with a slasher in mind with no actual killer. The first scenes is just pure pure pandering towards Chile, and I AM FROM CHILE! I’d love to have a movie so I can show to people and say: ‘hey, this is my country’, now I have this piece of shit that a lot (I can swear this) a LOT of people will see, and the only reaction they’ll get from Chile is: “I’M NOT GOING THERE, THERE ARE EARTHQUAKES THERE”. I fucking… swear to God, that this movie is so bad that after a couple of moments I thought that this was a joke, a test for me, so I could endure it… but no, it was real and it was the worst thing I’ve seen. The sets look like fucking sets, the special effects and makeup are simply laughable. A fucking disgrace.”

My sentiments haven’t changed much in the year or so since I watched it, but I heard that when it was finally released in Chilean theaters, it had scenes that were not tasteful enough for the US release, just to justify it at all. Since pretty much anyone with any interest in seeing this movie had already seen it, will it be iTunes, Netflix, Torrent or whatever other choice, those who wanted to see it, saw it, and those who didn’t, won’t be lured to theaters with the promise that this violent piece of crap will have even more violence and shitty-nes aimed at women. So, those who aren’t so technologically savvy or who were really into the promise of more violence and an uncut cut of the film, went to see it, and would you know that the number of people who fall in that category are really small, entering 10th in the box office and having only one week stay in theaters. That is weak by any standards and a demonstration that maybe the brand of Chilewood that Nicolás López so harshly and forcefully wants to make us think that works, doesn’t. People won’t go see a movie because it’s made by López nor because it has Eli Roth and it’s made in Chile, and not even because it has Selena Gomez in the most awkward cameo ever. Nope. Zip.

This must be a difficult wake up call for López. Now, the movie itself shouldn’t have had a release at all in Chile. It should’ve gone straight to DVD or on premium cable television, hell even a shitty Chilean TV channel could’ve aired it in an “exclusive premiere”, but apparently it was Disney who thought that it’d be a good idea to release it. How much does this failure in theaters means to López? Very little, I’m guessing, specially since he’ll say that the movie was a success no matter how much you make him think that it’s not (specially when it comes down to making GOOD movies), in iTunes, making deals, selling the movie overseas, sure, that makes up for the budget and even more, it’s a success alright. But when it comes to attract the public that you are most indebted to, you absolutely fail at achieving anything remotely decent? That should be a low blow, specially since “The Green Inferno” (2013), directed by Roth and produced under the Chilewood brand, seems to be unable to settle a release date in the US (or in Chile, for that matter).

Now, you might say after reading all this: ‘Hey, Jaime, you forgot the review!’. And what can I say? I don’t think that anything that I say will change the reputation or even the so-called-success that this movie has managed to  have. I can change nothing. Me? I’m only one guy, screaming and doing as much as I can do to call Nicolás López the future but maybe the crumbling of the good place in which Chilean cinema stands right now. You might call me a liar, but I think that a movie that doesn’t use Chile in the most flattering way (as shitty as this country might by), doesn’t deserve to be shown around as an example of superb qualities nor as the most successful nor as the one that would change the landscape. It didn’t. It won’t. Sorry.



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