July 18, 2014 at 2:53 pm

Tom Long

Review: Post-apocalyptic 'Aftermath' offers nothing but misery

Edward Furlong, left, and C.J. Thomason star in 'Aftermath,' the story of people taking shelter in a basement after a nuclear holocaust. (Scott Wigin / SSS Entertainment)

As masochistic exercises go, “Aftermath” is fairly effective.

This is the story, understand, of a group of people taking shelter in a basement following a nuclear holocaust. It’s pretty clear right from the start that all or most of them will die. Good times.

In the grand tradition of people-huddled-together-in-misery stories, screenwriter Christian MacDonald offers up a grab-bag of types — an old man who’s a diabetic, a young boy blinded by the blasts, a pregnant woman, a shy country boy.

And, of course, there’s your basic hothead jerk (Edward Furlong). And the young doctor who becomes their default leader (C.J. Thomason). As well as a late arrival (Andre Royo) who joins the group with an update from the outside world.

The outside world, it seems, isn’t doing all that well. Our makeshift gang descended into the basement hoping to survive for 30 days and avoid most of the poisonous radiation following the blasts. Other folks, though, apparently opted to run around shooting one another. They’ve become diseased zombie types.

Then again, with the cellar being far from airtight, our underground refugees are hardly pictures of health either. They start developing welts and commence dying off at regular intervals. Again: good times.

One thing to be thankful for — the basement is in Texas, so at least there are plenty of guns to be brandished when everyone starts going buggo.

“Aftermath” eventually becomes a slaughter-fest in the guise of a cautionary tale. It carries a bit more weight than your average slasher film because the scenario has the whiff of possibility about it. No Swamp Monster needed here — modern technology and human stupidity are scary enough.

Anyone who feels the need to be reminded of such may turn to this film. For most though, this fallout will feel too harsh and obvious.

'Aftermath'

GRADE: C+

Not rated

Running time: 92 minutes

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