Magazine article Screen International

Nicolás López & Eli Roth, Aftershock

Magazine article Screen International

Nicolás López & Eli Roth, Aftershock

Article excerpt

Ian Sandwell talks to Nicolás López and Eli Roth about the making of earthquake horror film Aftershock and their Chilewood concept.

"All the extras were covered in blood."

Just your typical Eli Roth film then, except Aftershock (opening Aug 16 in the UK via StudioCanal) is co-written and directed by Chilean director Nicolás López, with Roth on producing, writing and starring duties instead of behind the camera. (Guillermo Amoedo also co-wrote the film.)

Having made his name in the comedy genre, Aftershock marks a departure for López yet not an unexpected one given the director's love for horror. "For me, the thing about comedy and horror is that in both of the genres, you have an immediate reaction from the audience, so I was used to that," notes López.

After becoming friends with Roth, the duo set about working together with the success of The Last Exorcism paving the way for Roth to get a film financed in his name.

"We were originally going to do a science fiction movie but he [López] started telling me about what happened in the 2010 earthquake," recalls Roth. "It was so horrific and terrifying that we realised we didn't need to create anything fantastic around it."

But Aftershock isn't a documentary. Described by López as a "fun, popcorn movie", Aftershock centres on a group of tourists who, when a massive earthquake hits, start to realise that the earthquake could prove the least of their problems. "We wanted to make a movie that was more realistic in terms of what happened. It's not like 2012, a movie that shows all the destruction; it's more a movie that shows what happens to people inside that earthquake," explains López.

Despite this, the film still features an impressive central sequence showcasing the impact of the earthquake on the club our protagonists find themselves in. Adding to its intensity was the decision of the duo to use practical effects, a decision not without its risks.

"When you're doing things practically, it's always very difficult and risky, and thank God nobody was hurt during the shoot, but it was a very difficult shoot. It was seven weeks of all night, covered in dust and fake blood and destroying things," says Roth.

López adds: "The real earthquake happened at 3.34am and everyone was partying at the time so, in the movie, you have our characters in a club when all the mirrors start shaking and everything goes to hell. We wanted to show the real terror of that, and that's why we decided to do everything practically."

One of the discoveries of Aftershock is Lorenza Izzo who plays Kylie, one of the group looking to survive in the wake of the earthquake. …

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