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Aftermath (Blu-ray Review)

AftermathThe devastating horror of a nuclear apocalypse is now reality and nine desperate strangers find themselves clinging to life in a farmhouse cellar, while radioactive fallout descends on the darkened world above. These would-be survivors face the nightmare of dwindling supplies, poisonous air and the greatest threat of all – the hordes of zombie-like refugees who want in. With each dying day, their choice becomes clearer – stay and let the makeshift shelter become their tomb or face the unknown terrors of the world outside. Starring Edward Furlong, Monica Keena, Andre Royo and C.J. Thomason, AFTERMATH takes a hard look at how far humans will go to survive. And it isn’t pretty.

Aftermath

Film 

I’m getting a sense of deja vu here. Aftermath is the latest film that deals with post apocalyptic fallout and how a rag-tag group of survivors must hold up inside small house in the middle of nowhere whilst laying low from possible savages, cannibals, and all of the above. The group of survivors must learn to trust each other, ration supplies, and under no circumstance go outside. It sounds easy enough, right? That’s where Aftermath sort of gets it wrong.

You initially had a couple of nuclear bombs going off in relatively close proximity and before our primary characters sought shelter. The problem with that scenario is that those bombs dropped by unforeseen enemies (or friends?) seemed to have been dropped out in the middle of nowhere. There’s no cityscape to be seen, so they either missed their target complete or are really bad shots. Maybe both. Our main protagonist is Hunter (CJ Thomason), who is witness to the nuke blasts and seeks shelter while running into some folks on the road. He gathers them up and they venture deep into the woods where they come across a small farmhouse that’s relatively hidden from the main road.

The farmhouse has already occupied by some high-strung folks led by Brad (Edward Furlong). Hunter negotiates a seal of sorts and is allowed to stay along with his company from down the road that he saved. As the narrative moves forward we are given title cards that tell us how many days have gone by. The stuff that happens and what people talk about during the passage of time is extremely mundane and reveal nothing about the characters. Hardly anyone has an origin story, so the stakes, as high as they seem, don’t really matter, because we don’t know any of these characters. As time passes on we also don’t care about them either.

I do like that the eventual (or current) threat of fallout builds up and along with the legend of beings that are out there killing and scouring the land. Radioactive zombies you say? Well, sort of yes, mostly no. By the time the savage invaders show up not single damn was given about anyone who was suppose to be a good a guy. I understand that these are the limitations of low budget shooting and technically it’s a competent film but the story is not as tight as it should be.

Edward Furlong hasn’t been menacing or interesting for who know how many years; so seeing him as potential threat was pretty groan inducing. Everyone else was just there and they were bores. I do think that if the film had been peppered with more of the savages early on, like maybe one or two scenes in the first half of the film, it may have been better. We only get the nukes in the opening, and then boring characters are introduced, before ending with the savages. You can see why one’s interest was not held all the way through. If you’re at al curious about this latest entry into post apocalyptic fallout then give it a go. Maybe you will like it more than I did.

Aftermath

Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Clarity/Detail: Aftermath was obviously shot on the low end of the budget spectrum and this translates to word looking print. Contrast levels are blown out and DNR has been applied all over the place. It’s as if they’re overcompensating with DNR’ing the entire flick as opposed to littering it with lens flares.

Depth: Depth levels are fine although for being a barren wasteland the majority of the exteriors are awfully clean.

Black Levels: Black levels are great and I did not detect any instances of crush. They got the night time scenes right.

Color Reproduction: The color palette is a bit washed out especially during the beginning of the film. Once we’re introduced to more characters, different settings, etc., then the palette changes a bit.

Flesh Tones: Flesh tones are natural at first until the radiation levels begin to overcome everyone. Once that happens everyone begins to look like crap.

Noise/Artifacts: I did not notice any instances of dirt, debris, or noise – artificial or otherwise, which sort of bothered me due to there being fallout – you would most certainly get nasty particles everywhere.

 

Aftermath

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD MA 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH

Dynamics: Aftermath on Blu-ray definitely sounds better than it looks. Granted, everyone is in an enclosed space but the action beats leading up to those scenes does a great job in building up the dread of what’s out there. The opining segment when the bombs go off is a highlight.

Low Frequency Extension: LFE is used sparingly and only for the bigger action set pieces like the nukes going off and the various instances of gun violence.

Surround Sound Presentation: The rear channels are used for ambience but you’ll soon start to hear people and things creep around back there.

Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue levels are clean, crisp, and consistent.

 

Aftermath

Extras  

N/A

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Summary 

Aftermath certainly had potent ion but squandered it in the end with characters and situations that we really don’t care about. When we finally see the irradiated we just want it all to end, and by end, I mean the end credits. The Blu-ray is barebones and the technical specifications are below to slightly above average. Give it a spin but be warned: Aftermath is not a very good film. Oh, and don’t let the nifty cover art fool you – it’s just clever marketing.

 

Order Aftermath on Blu-ray!

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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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