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Eli Roth

Total Film

December 2012

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Eli Roth presents a seismic ‘real-life’ shocker.
Crossbreeding an Irwin Allen disaster movie with a grimy exploitation horror? Leave it to Eli Roth to attempt that weirdly compelling genetic experiment. The Hostel man has produced, co-written (with director Nicolás López) and stars in Aftershock as a horny traveller nightclubbing in Chile when a massive earthquake strikes. Falling buildings, gangs of looters, escaped convicts and deadly aftershocks – it’s a slasher movie without an actual psychopath, but no less lethal for it.

“It’s based on stuff that really happened,” says Roth, “but we’ve put it together in a survival-horror kind of way.” Indeed, Aftershock was spawned by a monster quake that struck Chile in February 2010 – and that Lopez lived through. Having met on the festival circuit (where they “discovered we both speak fluent geek,” says Lopez), the duo were mulling a horror collaboration when real life dished out their plot. Aftershock is littered with actualities that happened to Lopez’s social circle on that horrific Saturday night, as Chile’s youth were out partying and clubbing. One acquaintance lost both hands in the nightclub where

Aftershock kicks off, with his friends desperately searching for them in the rubble as techno music pounded. And a prison really did burst open, setting murderers and rapists loose...

It’s all been conjoined into a narrative that mixes a ’70s disaster-movie vibe with Roth-style lashings of gore as Aftershock’s imperilled survivors fight to escape Mother Nature’s wrath and human barbarity. “We didn’t want to make the Oscar version of what really happened,” notes Roth drily. “We just wanted to make a fun scary movie.”

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