Aftermath (1994)

Director: Nacho Cerda

Starring: Pep Tosar, Jordi Tarrida and Angel Tarris.

WARNING: May contain spoilers.

Aftermath is a short film wherein a man working in a morgue mutilates and molests a corpse, before taking her heart home to feed to his dog. Aftermath is preceded by The Awakening (1990) and followed by Genesis (1998). This movie won Best Short Film at Fantasia Festival in 1997.

From the beginning to the end of Aftermath, we are treated to a beautiful style of cinematography. The introductory shots along with the classical ambience set the scene of a blue tinted ‘sterile’ morgue. Simply from the atmosphere in the beginning, things seem dark and cold, which adds to the overall feel of the movie. The scenes and the close ups are well shot and carefully panned out, with some incredible use of shallow depth of field within the majority of the close ups. I can see where the film is deemed an ‘art film’ and I definitely agree, as it’s experimental and definitely interesting as an art piece.

There is no spoken dialogue within Aftermath, but despite this, the acting remains composed and well done purely based on what Pep Tosar did for this movie. The atmosphere of the movie is definitely enhanced by the acting as well as Tosar’s cold, brutal stare which genuinely gives chills through the course of this short. From the autopsies to the necrophilia, everything seems a little too real (though it really isn’t). The bodies in the morgue are well made, and add a new depth to what is unfolding in front of you, which is accentuated and complimented by the use of gore and blood.

The soundtrack that is playing throughout Aftermath is well chosen and composed, due to its classical and dramatic nature, it helps to set the scene and the overall atmosphere as strong classical progresses with the movie. The movie is directed and delivered with a raw, deprived and animalistic overtone designed to enhance the shock factor that was intended. Twinned with the smooth camera work, the transition between scenes flows perfectly and brings us neatly into the next shock. Only lasting 30 minutes, Aftermath throws you in at the deep end with an unforgiving lead character and his twisted mind. This idea adds to the dimension and the overall ‘disturbing’ factor of the movie, making it as much of an experience as it is a movie.

The final moments of the movie really show the cold nature of Tosar’s character and his lack of emotion for what he has done. This movie written down doesn’t seem all it’s cracked up to be, but you really have to see it to believe it. Personally, I enjoyed Aftermath and Cerda’s intense art style and I really would recommend it to those who want to see something truly unnerving.

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