A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Aftershock is a horror/disaster movie with lots of gratuitous gore -- including severed hands, people getting impaled with random objects, people on fire and/or being crushed -- as well as some truly brutal rape scenes. There's some nudity involved, lots of innuendo/sex talk, skimpy outfits galore, and plenty of drinking/partying scenes. Language is also strong, with many uses of "f--k," as well as "s--t" and "c--k." Co-writer/star Eli Roth has a strong cult following for having directed the Hostel torture movies, and his fans will want to see this. But it's really not age appropriate for kids of any age.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
A clueless American (Eli Roth) is vacationing in Chile with some buddies (Ariel Levy and Nicolas Martinez), enjoying nightclubs, drinking, partying, and wine tasting. Not long after the friends meet some pretty girls (Andrea Osvart, Lorenza Izzo, and Natasha Yarovenko), a terrible earthquake rocks the nation. It collapses buildings, crushes people, and causes general chaos. Worse, a prison crumbles, and evil, raping, murdering inmates are now on the loose, terrorizing survivors. The potential victims' only hope is a secret tunnel that goes beneath an ancient church, but can they make it that far? And if they do, what awaits them down there?
Is it any good?
At times it seems like Aftershock is trying to be funny -- with disastrous results -- and at other times, it's heart-stoppingly serious, as in the horrifying rape scene. The movie spends at least a third of its running time establishing the "characters" who will soon be terrorized, but they still seem, for the most part, horribly flat and highly unlikable. It's just as well, since the filmmakers also don't seem to care about them. Gomez appears in the film's only good scene, coldly rebuffing Roth's advances in a nightclub.
Roth has a cult following for directing the gory Hostel "torture porn" movies, but lately he's become more of a celebrity, appearing on screen in various cameos and silly roles in other movies. With AFTERSHOCK, he's co-written a lead role for himself and handed the directorial reins over to Chilean filmmaker Nicolas Lopez. The result is supposed to be a subversive hybrid of disaster movies and gory horror, but it's uncertain where the two actually meet.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Aftershock's violence. Was it intended to scare viewers or amuse them? How can you tell? What about the rape scenes? Do these kinds of scenes belong in the same movie?
What's the appeal of disaster movies? Do you think a disaster like the one shown here could occur? If so, is it better to try to prepare or better not to worry about something we can't control?
Why did the two sisters fight so much about drinking? How is drinking portrayed in the movie?
What did you think of Selena Gomez's appearance in this movie, in such a mature role? Does she have a responsibility to be a role model to her younger fans?
- In theaters: May 10, 2013
- On DVD or streaming: August 6, 2013
- Cast: Andrea Osvart, Eli Roth, Selena Gomez
- Director: Nicolas Lopez
- Studios: Dimension, Radius TWC
- Genre: Horror
- Run time: 89 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong bloody violence including rape, language, drug content and some nudity