DVD Review: ‘Aftermath’ Is A Solid Apocalyptic Survival Horror Film

‘Aftermath’ thrusts viewers into the fallout of a worldwide nuclear apocalypse and traces the attempts at survival by nine strangers in the newly created wasteland of their world. Supplies are low and the radiation from nearby explosions is beginning to permeate the air making the surface unlivable, forcing people underground. Scarcity and fear turn the survivors into savages and increase the distrust and brutality between them. Throw in a bit of zombie-ism and the world really is changed forever.

There is very little in the film that doesn’t resemble an early episode of ‘The Walking Dead’ or really any other apocalyptic survival media. People are suddenly thrown into the loss of civilization and everyday problems become life threatening. Outsiders, whether human or something else, cannot be helped and must be avoided or killed.

The niche twist that ‘Aftermath’ uses to distinguish itself is its emphasis on real world political situations of today as the igniting force of the nuclear apocalypse (Pakistan, Afghanistan, Israel, Iran, etc. are all namedropped in the film). It is scarier because it is something that is at the very least plausible (minus the zombie stuff, presumably). The bonus threat of radiation is also an interesting and welcome plot element. It is an inhuman enemy that kills and destroys without distinction, and it severely limits the ability of the survivors to move around.

While the acting is not extraordinary it gets the job done. Some of the characters feel forced, but this is more the fault of the writing than the actors. From the very beginning they feel more like plot points rather than people. Within the survivors there are a pregnant woman, an elderly diabetic, a young child, and a newly minted doctor, among others. Of course, it is entirely plausible that this group of survivors could come together, but it just feels like they are cramming in apocalyptic horror’s greatest hits.

‘Aftermath’ is a solid apocalyptic survival horror film that fans of the subgenre will appreciate. While it relies on many of the standard tropes, it adds enough of its own twists to make it stand out. People who don’t consider themselves aficionados of the subgenre would do better seeking out the any number of films that on the whole do the genre better.

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