With post-apocalyptic films having been done to death, it’s hard for a film with such a subject to captivate with any sort of fresh perspective. Most recently it was surprisingly accomplished by filmmaker Xavier Gens who examined the after effects on the human animal with his dark and moody flick "The Divide." It’s what makes the arrival of the below average thriller titled "Aftermath" even less welcome. It’s yet another look at survivors after the use of nuclear weapons and comes off like "The Divide" light complete with characters we don’t care about and situations already seen – been there, done that.
Hunter is a young doctor on a Texas road who witnesses a nuclear mushroom cloud as the US has obviously gone to war with the world. He grabs a nearby gal, her son, another stranded lady and a boatload of supplies and heads to the nearest house with a basement. The house is guarded by the cautious Brad who lets them in, but has one eye on everyone in distrust.
The above description sounds more like the original "Night of the Living Dead" actually, complete with paranoid people, killers outside looking to get in and a total distrust of governments in charge. But in "Aftermath" there’s just not a single person in the film that goes beyond being a cardboard cutout. Even the do-gooder doctor comes off blasé – not exactly fireworks for a suspense flick. Director Peter Engert works hard to create a turbulent tone within the small space of the film, but without the care for the inhabitants it’s an exercise in futility.
I’m all for creating a new world within a familiar idea, but there has to be original insight. With nothing new to say and nothing left to show, "Aftermath" is nothing more than an afterthought.
"AFTERMATH" IS IN SELECT THEATERS AS WELL AS VOD AND iTUNES NOW FROM RLJ/IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT.
Stars: 1 1/2
Genre: Thriller / Drama
Cast: Edward Furlong, Monica Keena, C.J. Thomason
Director: Peter Engert
Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 92 Minutes
Release Company: RLJ/Image Entertainment