The Quake (2018)

PG-13   |    |  Action, Drama, Thriller

The Quake (2018) Poster

In 1904 an earthquake of magnitude 5.4 on the Richter scale shook Oslo, with an epicenter in the "Oslo Graben" which runs under the Norwegian capital. There are now signs that indicate that we can expect a major future earthquake in Oslo.




  • The Quake (2018)
  • Kristoffer Joner and Edith Haagenrud-Sande in The Quake (2018)
  • The Quake (2018)
  • The Quake (2018)
  • The Quake (2018)
  • Kristoffer Joner and Kathrine Thorborg Johansen in The Quake (2018)

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5 December 2019 | spookyrat1
| Wave at the Quake!
You have to give credit to the Norwegians, who, undeterred by the many hundreds of millions spent on Hollywood features, continue to pump out these much lower budget, but still good quality disaster films. Like its direct prequel The Wave, The Quake benefits again from both good acting from the cast and convincing sets, locations and special effects. What differentiates The Quake from its predecessor however, is that, this time around, the script doesn't seem up to the same standard.

In fact with a few minor changes, the basic narrative outline from The Wave is rejigged, to be used again in The Quake. So despite being a (PTSD affected) hero from events seen in The Wave, three years earlier, Kristtofer Joner is back playing Kristian, a Jonah like figure again whose warnings about a cataclysmic earthquake event, likely to strike Oslo, Norway's capitol, seem to be going unheeded. Things don't really seem to have changed a lot and everything looks quite predictable, apart from the central location changing from the fjord at Geiranger to downtown Oslo, where Kristian's family has moved to, after leaving him, because of his continual depression. Once again Idun, Kristian's plucky but separated wife, is notably working for the Radisson Hotel chain (It surely must be a franchise sponsor).

Many others have offered mixed commentary on the rather long events leading up to the actual quake. Like the earlier film, we have one of Kristian's friends and colleague falling foul of preliminary action. This allows the entry of Marit, his daughter into proceedings and yes, she is kind of like a younger and darker-haired plucky version of Idun.

No criticism of Kristtofer Joner's acting prowess, but I just found it hard to accept that the hero of Geiranger, seemed to be allowed to wallow in hermetic depression, supposedly blaming himself for the fate of those who died there, without any visible means of support from the well-regarded Norwegian social welfare system. One of the things that made The Wave so good, was its realism. The action took place in real places and was based on real events that had occurred in a similar fjord. The Quake tries to sell us the same story about Oslo, being the Nordic equivalent of San Francisco or Tokyo; a city sitting on the edge of a geologic precipice that could topple at any moment. But it just doesn't have the same ring of truth. Despite the pre and post credit notes, I just never recall Oslo being in the news for being continually affected by earthquakes (on a minor scale of course).

When the big split finally happens, it's again handled onscreen technically very well. But sad to see, the major narrative point hinged on the imposition again of the "naughty child syndrome", where Julia, Kristtian's and Idun's angelic daughter, bizarrely does exactly the opposite of what her father tells her to do, which is remain in the car with Marit. Again I found it totally unbelievable, that given this intelligent kid's earlier experiences, she would suddenly have this irrational yen to sightsee from the top of her mother's workplace. If it sounds stupid, it actually looked pretty dumb up there on the screen, being played out as such.

Another problem arising from having the earthquake occur so late in the piece, is that unlike The Wave where we see the tsunami affect the whole town, here we just end up focusing on 4 or 5 people. Strangely, events affecting Sondre, Julia's brother, at his university appear extremely abbreviated, so much so, that it's almost as if he and his girlfriend are forgotten about.

I have to reiterate that it's great to see smaller countries not being intimidated and giving big budget-themed movies a shot. But I have to confess that I'm a little surprised that The Quake has gained such a strong collection of well regarded reviews. I consider it it a fairly obviously inferior film to its prequel, due mainly to its lack of originality and can only give it 5.5/10.

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Release Date:

14 December 2018



Country of Origin


Filming Locations

Oslo, Norway

Box Office


NOK52,100,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,256 16 December 2018

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:


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