A disjointed mesh of disaster movie and slasher flick Discuss this article

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The set-up is primo: An American known only as Gringo (Eli Roth) and his Spanish-speaking pals are on a tour of Chile. It’s a hedonistic succession of discotheque evenings before, after 30 minutes of intriguing character development. Gringo is a divorced father with self-confidence issues; his frat-house buddies have similarly complicated shades – everyone gathers at a nightclub where a massive earthquake brings the walls tumbling down onto that poor girl with the Wu-Tang Clan tattoo.

It’s at this point director Nicolás López’s slick shocker turns into an unholy combination of disaster film and slasher flick. The tectonic shift brings the city to a standstill, empties a jail full of psychotic prisoners onto the streets, and unleashes – as a Gabriel’s-trumpet-like siren warns – a towering tsunami slowly making its way to shore. As Gringo & Co wander around looking for safety – Andrea Osvárt’s prudish Monica turns out to be the movie’s unwitting heroine – they are subjected to the kind of indignities you expect in a Roth-headlined feature (he also co-wrote and produced). Each character’s suffering, be it the loss of a hand or a terribly prolonged assault, is lingered over with sniggering intimacy, until a jokey moment of death (open a manhole, get slammed by a car) frees us of any need to view them as human. People become mere punch lines: fleshy avatars for the gory offerings.

By Time Out staff
Time Out Doha,


  • Duration: 89
  • Released: Wed, 25 Sep
  • Classification: 18+
  • Language: English
  • Director: Nicolás López
  • Stars: Eli Roth, Ariel Levy, Nicolás Martínez, Andrea Osvárt, Lorenza Izzo, Marcial Tagle, Ramón Llao

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