Aftermath is a short film written & directed by Nacho Cerda. A film without a single word of dialogue (I include it here even though it has no subtitles because at the movie’s end is a relevant newspaper story written in Spanish), it is an incredible piece of cinema. One of the most beautifully shot yet utterly horrific & disturbing pieces of film you will ever see.
There is no way I can review this film without giving away some spoilers. Having said that, if you have heard of this film then I dare say you know what to expect. Aftermath is notorious as one of the most explicit & graphically shocking movies of all time. The film begins in a mortuary as two morticains are working on two corpses. When one leaves the other is left with the corpse of a young woman. The mortician starts the autopsy in the usual fashion, about halfway through events take a dramatic turn & the mortician begins to take photographs as he violates the corpse.
I will refrain from mentioning the end of the movie & leave that for anyone watching it for the first time. While this movie is one of the most shocking & deeply disturbing films you will ever see, it is also one of the most visually stunning & frankly beautiful movies ever made. In terms of cinematography & colour the look of the movie is as lush as Dario Argento’s Suspiria. The soundtrack is a piece by Motzart & is full of sweeping string arrangements. None of the usual grainy film stock, screechy soundtracks & shaky camera work normally associated with low-budget extreme movies, Aftermath looks like a multi million dollar major studio release. It is because of the film’s look that it’s content becomes so much more shocking. The autopsies themselves are very graphic & detailed, but it is the defilement of the woman’s corpse that is truly abhorrent. Cerda’s film works on many levels. At the beginning of the movie he forces the viewer to confront death, something we will all have to come to terms with in our lives. The corpses on the tables are someones loved ones being worked on matter of factly by two morticians who see it as nothing more than a job. This cold rational is sobering enough but what follows is truly horrific. I won’t go into detail on the atrocities inflicted on the woman’s body but the film doesn’t flinch from showing everything that happens in a stark manner.
Aftermath is a niche film that will only appeal to those with a truly strong stomach & the ability to watch extreme acts of brutality & horror. This is no cheap exploitation movie but it is a movie whose content & imagery will stay with you long after the movie has finished. Highly recommended for those who can take it.