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2012 | 90 min | R | 1.85:1



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User reviews

1 user review

Movie appeal




Theatrical release date

 06 April, 2012

Country of origin

 United States

Box office




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Screenshots from ATM Blu-ray

ATM Preview  

 / 10
Preview by Brian Orndorf, March 15, 2012

Horror and thriller filmmakers have my deepest respect. It canít be easy coming up with original ideas to fuel big screen madness, requiring a unique creative drive to dream up scenarios that audiences havenít seen a thousand times before. ďATMĒ attempts to subvert traditional serial killer shenanigans by keeping the setting limited to a glass box located in the middle of a parking lot, while engineering a twist ending thatís more interesting than effective. ďATMĒ isnít a convincing movie, but the production is at least breaking a sweat on this effort, making it a promising misfire that might enchant those on the hunt for something slightly cockeyed when it comes to the torment of innocents.

Terrible investment bankers, David (Brian Geraghty) and Corey (Josh Peck) are more than ready to relax at their office holiday party, trading stories and drinks as the freezing winter night commences. Fearing he wonít see departing officemate Emily (Alice Eve) again, David attempts ask her out, which turns into a friendly car ride home, soon attracting killjoy Corey. Stopping at an ATM location to pick up cash for late night eats, the trio discovers a shadowy figure in a winter coat has appeared outside. Witnessing Mr. Coat brutally murder an innocent dog walker, the gang goes into full panic mode, unable to exit the ATM and run for safety. As the night wears on and the temperature drops, the businesspeople scramble to discover some way to notify the police, hoping to evade Mr. Coatís carefully considered evening of terror.

Screenwriter Chris Sparling has previous experience with tightly confined thrillers, having written the 2010 pulse-pounder ďBuried,Ē which effectively sold a claustrophobic experience of mounting dread. ďATMĒ doesnít provide the same charge in character or tension, blandly kicking off with the professional woes of David and Corey, two surprisingly uninteresting figures of average intelligence pushed into an extreme situation of survival. Their banter is largely tedious, meant to transmit Davidís timidity and Coreyís stinginess, always leeching off his friend for rides and meals. ďATMĒ crawls in the opening act, spending an extended time with these vacant personalities as they move into genre position, though any interest in their hopes and desires is rendered void by the banal script.

Once Mr. Coat steps out of the darkness and the terror festivities begin, ďATMĒ finds more secure ground as a thriller, pitting the petrified, freezing trio against an enigmatic enemy who keeps an exact distance from the door, waiting for his prey to make irrational decisions. Although Mr. Coat is also up to secretive plans behind the building, he mostly keeps still, watching from afar. Director David Brooks creates a truly menacing figure out of the impressively patient madman, finding a semi-fresh look to the antagonist that emphasizes a hulking frame and faceless surveillance. Mr. Coat looks the part, but his reign of terror is mostly limited to a few stabbings, refusing to storm the property for reasons that arenít immediately clear. Visually, ďATMĒ convinces with its chilly appearance and neon lighting, capturing a sensation of isolation and hypothermia that helps to swallow numerous plot holes that develop during the course of the movie. Nitpickers might not be as forgiving.

As previously mentioned, thereís a twist ending to ďATMĒ that I will not reveal. However, itís worth nothing that the conclusion attempts to refresh the concept of a serial killer rampage, using security camera images to establish an alternate spectator to the eveningís murderous activities. Itís a stimulating attempt to knock the viewer off-balance and offer a climax that isnít entirely dependent on bloodshed to provide a jolt. Nevertheless, the ending canít make up for 75 minutes of moderate thrills and dreary characterizations. ďATMĒ contains a great deal of curious moments and two decent shocks, but as a whole, it lacks a propulsive personality that would elevate the experience to something absolutely riveting. It earns points for the attempt, but the execution doesnít hold attention.

Starring: Alice Eve, Josh Peck, Brian Geraghty
Director: David Brooks

» See full cast & crew

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