Whatever you might think of Eli Roth's writing and directing abilities, when it comes to acting the Hostel and Cabin Fever man leaves a lot to be desired, which doesn't help when he's the lead in this low budget actioner. He's on writing duties too here, which explains why the best scene in the movie belongs to his character. The cad.
Roth and his two buddies (Martinez and Ariel Levy) are in Santiago, Chile on holidays when they meet Izzo and Osvart, two Hungarian sisters, who don't seem to be getting along all that sisterly. As possible romances are forged in an underground nightclub, an earthquake rocks the city, killing some of the club's patrons, dismembering others and blocking the exits. The gang escape through tunnels up to the streets where chaos reigns: a tsunami is imminent, riots are in progress and escaped criminals roam the city…
Like most disaster movies - that's 'disaster' the sub-genre, not 'disaster' a bad movie, which it also is but more of that in a moment – Aftershock takes a while to get going as Roth, co-writing with director Nicolas Lopez and writer Guillermo Amoedo (both of whom have penned Roth's upcoming The Green Inferno), ease the audience into a decent half hour of getting to know you stuff and foreshadowing. There's also room to plant the abortion/catacombs of dead babies/reborn subplot and theme that doesn't know what to do with itself.
Once the quake hits, the effects of which are depicted solely inside the collapsing nightclub, a niggling fear sets in: If we don't get to see at least a naff CGI building falling over and crushing people, then there's not chance of seeing a gushing tsunami race its way through the Santiago streets. Fears are confirmed when a Final Destination type accident-in-waiting is delivered by cutaways and reaction shots. Aftershock just doesn't have the budget to do what it wished it could. You can smell the rewrites.
Fair play to director Nicolas Lopez, however, who does what he can with a limited budget (it's odd that Roth’s name couldn't garner more funds) but by the fifth time someone falls off a collapsing thing to impale a leg on a yoke, you'll be fed up.