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ATM – 6

Director – David Brooks

Cast – Brian Geraghty, Alice Eve, Josh Peck, Aaron Hughes, Will Woytowich

Release Year – 2012

Reviewed by John of the Dead

I was pretty excited to see ATM because it was going to give me one of my favorite tactics/elements used in the horror genre: a nowhere-to-run scenario. Much like Devil, Feast, REC, etc., films that leave our protagonists stuck in a confined space with danger lurking around every corner provide for good tension so long as the filmmakers have decent ability to keep the viewer engaged, and that was mostly the case with ATM. The story is simple but provides enough complexities to make for a unique watch, and despite some downtimes and moments of bland writing this effort made for a mostly-positive film in the end, although it could have (and should have) been better than it was.

While traveling home from a work party three coworkers stop at an ATM and find themselves trapped by a strange killer with a hidden vengeance.

I really liked this storyline as I love simple stories that throw in a few unique curveballs and rely on good direction to seal the deal. It does not take long before the three coworkers leave the party and stop at an ATM so that the most annoying of them can pull out some cash, and before you know it the three of them are stuck within the ATM (which has glass walls and is the size of a small room) with a creepy hulking figure standing in the parking lot between them and their vehicle. As the freezing temperatures begin to take effect on the three coworkers panic then ensues, and when the hulking man begins hacking and slashing all hell breaks loose. Our protagonists being stuck in the ATM kiosk made for some good tension and allowed me to put myself in their shoes and think of what decisions I would make if I were in their situation, which since I legally carry a firearm would have been easy for me (and helped my chances of survival compared to the protagonists) but nonetheless any film that allows the viewer to envelop themselves in the story makes for an engaging one the viewer should appreciate. Most of the story takes place in the very parking lot with the ATM, and despite that I never once really found myself bored, although I did wish the storyline would have contained less holes and given me more background on the killer. While I enjoyed the killer and the hell he dished out I did find the writing regarding him to be a bit dry and keeping much of his potential from the viewer, which is one of the biggest reasons behind the film not achieving a higher rating. The climax was one that I did not expect and it came with a bit of confusion as well (another thing I did not see coming) but ultimately I believe this story by Chris Sparling, the man who wrote Buried, did a fine job with this one.

ATM marks the full-length film debut of director David Brooks, and for the most part he did pretty will with this effort. This atmosphere is great and his sets worked very well, especially that of the ATM kiosk where we spend the bulk of the runtime hiding with the protagonists. His execution of the horror was positive, giving us good tension and some gut-wrenching kill sequences that left me licking my lips at their awesomeness. I enjoyed the killer in the film, especially during the scenes where he was barely visible and all we were shown was a hulking man in a winter parka, and the usage of him during the kill sequences was incredible as he delivered quality kills reminiscent of the incredible Tyler Mane. The rest of the actors did well and Brooks’ did a fine job mashing them together to serve as both friends at times and enemies at other times, which played into why this film had the potential to be a good one, but story issues held it back in the end.

Overall, ATM is a cool film that provides much tension thanks to the setting provided by the cool storyline and an awesome killer with a thirst for carnage. The direction is good and there are some memorable scenes, but the story felt a bit bland at time and ultimately kept this film from being an outrightly well-done effort, making for a mostly-positive one that I would recommend if you need your horror fix.

Rating: 6/10

  1. ekr1984
    March 12, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Sounds like it could be pretty nifty. Thanks!

    • March 12, 2012 at 9:06 pm

      Hope you enjoy it. I was surprised to see a lot of hateful reviews for it from other people.

      • ekr1984
        March 12, 2012 at 10:35 pm

        I’m sure I will. It’s got a lot of elements that I like in my horror movies.

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