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Film / Aftershock

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Aftershock is a 2012 disaster horror film directed by Nicolas Lopez with a screenplay by him, Eli Roth and Guillermo Amoedo. It consists of a group of tourists, who travel to Chile for partying and fun only to run in the midst of an earthquake resulting in complete chaos.

Not to be confused with the 2010 disaster drama film of the same name by Feng Xiaogang.

Provides examples of:

  • Abortion Fallout Drama: At first, seemingly not a huge part of the plot, but during an argument between Kylie and Monica, it's revealed Monica had one in the past. It becomes more unsettling alongside the subplot of the legend about babies and orphans killed and dumped unceremoniously underground by corrupt nuns and priests.
  • And I Must Scream: The firefighter driving the fire truck. The truck crashes, and the characters find the passenger begging for help, and the driver's neck or throat skewered with a large piece of lumber - barely alive, but near death and unable to speak. The characters seem distrustful of the passenger, and the driver looks like he may have something to say, but he can't talk and soon dies anyway.
  • Asshole Victim: Quite a few. Several of the characters are shown acting like selfish, callous pieces of shit before being killed off in gruesome ways.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: The Firefighter who turns out to be an escaped convict.
  • Butt-Monkey: Gringo, Ariel and Irina. See Trauma Conga Line. And let's not forget the poor janitor lady. After being bullied and shoved around by the hot Wu-Tang fangirl, she helps the characters find an escape ladder from the collapsing nightclub. Then she's instantly killed by a car with zero warning.
  • The Cameo: Selena Gomez appears briefly as a stuck-up partygoer who gets hit on, quite ineffectively, by Gringo.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Gringo, who strikes out multiple times.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The faulty cables of the Cable car.
    • Then there is the Tsunami.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The prisoners who are heard to have escaped from the collapsed jail.
  • The City Narrows: The first half of the movie shows the fun parts of Chile: hot chicks, parties, touristy photo ops and all-around good times. Once the earthquake hits, the tone becomes dark and we see the characters navigating slum-like environments full of chaos and violent atrocities.
  • Death of a Child: A little boy dies in an aerial tramway accident along with her mother and Ariel. Later, a baby, who died along with her mother during the earthquake, was found by Monica.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Eli Roth's Gringo is the lead until he dies second and easily the most brutal death by being first crushed under some rubble, then set on fire and we see every second of the burning.
  • Downer Ending: Monica finally manages to escape onto a beach. She walks around the beach, bewildered that she was able to escape to safety at last... until she sees a very tall tsunami, one that was warned early on the film, rushing towards her.
  • Dwindling Party: The main characters ALL die, one by one.
  • Final Girl: Monica...until the last minute.
  • Guns Do Not Work That Way: Mrs. Martínez shoots Pollo once in the chest with her Glock-looking pistol, and the slide stays cocked back as it would if the clip had been emptied. The slide is then shown returned to the forward position in the next frame. Someone with even rudimentary gun knowledge could have caught and corrected this easily during filming.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Gringo distracts one of the prisoners so Irina can escape, and pays for it with his life. It turns out to be All for Nothing however as she's killed while fleeing.
  • Hope Spot: When Monica makes her way to the beach, it looks as though she has finally reached a location safe from the effects of the earthquake. However, as the camera view pans around, a massive tsunami (the one they kept expecting but hadn't seen yet) is revealed to be thundering toward her, seconds away from the shore.
  • Karma Houdini: Carmen the bartender. Ariel loses a hand freeing her from debris and she abandons him with no repercussions, though it is possible she was killed by the Tsunami.
  • Karmic Death: The prisoners who raped and killed Irina, burned Gringo alive and killed a wounded Pollo, are killed when the cathedral collapsed on them.
  • Kick the Dog: The tour guide girl seems cool, friendly and of course attractive at first. But when we see her out at the nightclub, all dolled up and in diva mode, she rudely and aggressively shoves an older, fragile janitor lady out of her way as she leaves the restroom.
  • Kill It with Fire: The prisoners do this twice. Once, one uses a Molotov cocktail to murder a police officer. Later, another kills Gringo by lighting him on fire after he'd gotten doused with alcohol.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The Guide, who is gradually revealed to be an undercover self-serving cunt, gets a karmic death for being a Jerkass to the cleaning lady and pushing her friend during the earthquake.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: There are a couple of things that could be construed as an implication of supernatural causes behind the earthquake. The legend of the orphans and babies conceived by corrupt church officials and dumped in the tunnels seems totally forgotten once the earthquake drama starts, but is revisited when Monica (having had an abortion herself) discovers the discarded baby corpses underground. This, together with a symbolic shot of a large crucifix coming down off a wall and being smashed and desecrated, can almost make it look like this is some sort of epicentre of evil, where horrible things happened and Nature is striking back with deadly force, wrecking symbols of religious faith in the process.
  • Rape as Drama: Poor Irina gets raped twice, by two different escaped prisoners.
  • Real After All: The tunnels where priests and nuns supposedly dumped illegitimate babies. Ariel discusses the legend when they're in the graveyard and looking at the cathedral. Later on while trying to escape the chaos of the earthquake, Monica stumbles upon the actual corpses underground in the tunnel system.
  • Refuge in Audacity: The prison escapee who poses as a fireman and actually does many helpful things to gain the trust of the main characters, and get close to the women. He even claims "Look, I don't have tattoos! I'm not a criminal!" Of course, he does have tattoos, concealed by his clothing, and he is definitely a criminal.
  • Tattooed Crook: Played straight when the movie uses this as The Reveal that the seemingly helpful fireman is confirmed to be a bad guy solely by the presence of his tattoos. Also functions as Fridge Horror, due to the fact that earlier he claimed not to have any, and so could not be a criminal.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: the Red Band trailer has the shot of Monica and the tsunami towering over her.
  • Trauma Conga Line: DEAR FUCKING GOD, the stuff Irina goes through. First, she's nearly trampled to death, then she's raped two times in a row, the first time in front of a pinned down Gringo, then the second time, she's right next to Gringo's burnt corpse.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Monica may be one, or may have had a past as one. Kylie roasts her for living an unproductive, hedonistic life financed by her father's money, and doing things like leaving the family and traveling to India to "find herself." It is further revealed she got knocked up and had an abortion, also financed by Dad.