Aaron (Sean Mcarty) is at a business retreat in Astoria Oregon when an earthquake hits the state. The damage is said to be huge and a lot of people are stranded without any food, water or means of transport including Aaron himself.
Deciding that he has to get to Portland besides a journey that’s over 700 miles, Aaron tries to get a lift from a passing car. However, he has trouble as people are starting to panic and the mentality of ‘every man for himself’ sets in.
Eventually though, Aaron does meet a group of people who at first are reluctant to help, but as they continue on their journey, they find that despite their differences, they can still find a bond.
Crossing Shaky Ground is an earthquake movie on an extremely limited budget written and directed by Paul Bright. Like a lot of natural disaster movies such as Twister, Dante’s Peak and San Andreas half of the reason for an audience to see a film like that is to be in awe of the spectacle and special effects that occur during the movie while the characters bond while trying to survive.
The problem is that although an ambitious project, Crossing Shaky Ground has no choice but to focus on the characters, which is usually the least interesting aspect of films like this with much bigger budgets.
It also doesn’t help that there are a lot of grey moral areas in the characters, which may lend a bit of depth to them in an attempt to try and flesh them out, but doesn’t give the audience anybody to root for besides Aaron and that’s just because he’s the lead of the movie.
There is an attempt at showing the initial earthquake which is also a mistake because of the low budget and unfortunately this may raise a smile or two in the audience as the camera shakes back and forth. However, after nearly two hours they may not be smiling so much because of the consistent shaking of the handheld camera which keeps going even when the ground is still.
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