Apologies folks! I couldn’t get my article posted last night so you will be seeing two movie reviews from me today! Here is the first one. The movie was featured in a few of my Fresh off the Slab articles in the past. Let’s see what’s in store.
An American tourist in Chile and his newfound friends face a grueling fight for survival following a massive earthquake in this harrowing disaster film starring and co-written by Eli Roth (who penned the screenplay alongside Guillermo Amoedo and director Nicolás López). Good-natured Gringo (Roth) and his two Chilean pals Ariel (Ariel Levy) and Pollo (Nicolás Martínez) are looking to hook up with some ladies when they happen across gorgeous Russian model Irina (Natasha Yarovenko), hard-partying Kylie (Lorenza Izzo), and Kylie’s straitlaced older sister Monica (Andrea Osvárt), who agree to join them for an impromptu trip to Valparaiso. But the following night, as the music blares and the club gets jumping, the ground starts to crumble beneath their feet. With chaos in the air and Ariel seriously injured, everyone tries to keep their cool while seeking help for their friend. Little do they realize that this is the beginning of a nightmare from which no one can wake up, and when the inmates escape from a local prison and begin flooding into the streets, the initial shock turns to outright terror as roving gangs of convicts begin to rape, rob, and murder at will. (synopsis from Fandango)
[SPOILERS] Ok, just to begin this, we need to come to an understanding. This is not a horror film. At all. Do not be deceived by anything you have watched. It is an apocalyptical, action or survival film that doesn’t really follow any trend.
So what did work for this movie? Developing a rapport between the actor’s characters and the audience was extremely effect in the beginning of the movie. I could identify with the camaraderie between the 3 guys. It felt familiar, like how my friends and I used to act (to a limit). Then we pull in the three girls who spend the rest of their (relatively short) lives with our three leads. They are likable and there is an underlying tension/plot between the two sisters which adds to the characters.
Here’s the problem. The character development was great for the first 15 minutes or so….but then we were at 30 minutes and we were still developing the characters. I was getting that familiar “and then….” feeling in my mind. About 5 minutes later, the earthquake hits and people start dying and acting like typical “save yourselves” herd of cows. Cutting out a bit of the site seeing and bar scenes might have cleaned up the front of the movie.
After the earthquake hits, it’s a comedy of tragedies that kills off the survivors. One by one, they are killed off by earthquake aftershocks, escaped rapist prisoners, and a freaking tsunami. Ariel hand is chopped off when he saves a bartender who abandons him. He is killed in a trolley as it dislodges and hurtles to the ground. Eli Roth is crushed by a falling pillar and then set on fire by the prisoners. Pollo is shot by a mother and then finished off by the prisoners. All three of the lead guys are killed off in short order. There was still about 30 minutes left and everyone who we really grew to like was dead.
The three girls die in similar savage ways. The one friend is attacked by the prisoners and then shot in the back after Pollo axes one prisoner to death. The bitchy sister is killed by a “fireman” who was no fireman at all but a convict in disguise. The short haired sister was killed after she escaped the city and the prisoners to arrive at the beach. As she turns to look at the ocean, the tsunami rises above her and falls. Movie over.
Note: How did everyone know who was a prisoner? Tattoos. Only convicts and escaped criminals have tattoos according to the folks in this movie. I almost take offense at that.
Overall, this movie was barely ok. I did enjoy the start and the characterizations; however, things quickly fell apart and logic was tossed out of the window. There were too many things happening all at once that seemed to be way too coincidental. I give this movie a 5 out of 10. Take a look at the trailer below.
Also, Pollo was the man, and I have beard envy.