I hope everyone had a great holiday season over the last couple of months. Mine wasn’t real busy, but had a friend who made sure I wasn’t alone at least. She is a very sweet person. Even though I still haven’t been in much of a writing mood, it comes and goes, I’ve been chugging along trying to get some reviews done anyway. I was hoping to get to go to the theater this weekend, but I’m completely out of money for the second week in a row. While it is annoying not having any money, I’m not too worried about it at the moment. I have some I can get to, just takes a few days. Hopefully by next weekend I will have a little money I can spend again. Meanwhile, since Netflix has been paid for already, I took in a film there for review here. Even though I had been hearing bad things about it, I decided to watch ATM, which can be found on instant watch. The writer, Chris Sparling, also did the script for Buried, which I liked, so I was curious.
David (Brian Geraghty) isn’t having a good day at work. After losing the money of a retired man in his 401K, David learns from his best friend Corey (Josh Peck) that the woman David has been trying to talk to is leaving the company after work. David has one last shot though, the company Christmas party. David does talk to her, but doesn’t go as well as he would have liked before she leaves. While Emily (Alice Eve) is waiting for a taxi, David runs out thinking she forgot her hat, which is on her head. David decides to offer to take her home, after giving the hat back that he thought was Emily’s, but Corey says he has to tag along because David was his ride home, and apparently can’t find some other way home. On their way, Corey decides he needs some money and talks David into finding an ATM. Once there, David parks a ways back to make his friend walk in the -3 cold weather. Having trouble with his card, he waves David in. Emily doesn’t want to sit in the car alone, so she makes her way to the ATM as well. As you can see from the poster, it is an ATM inside a small enclosed building in the middle of a parking lot. Once they get Corey his money, they start to leave only to see a man (Mike O’Brian) standing outside. Not seeing anyway he could have got there besides on foot, they wait to see what the guy wants. When this guy sees some other guy with his dog, he kills this other guy before our little group knows what is up. It is going to be a long night.
ATM has more of its share of haters than it does people who liked it. While I did like ATM, I understand some of what people complain about. A lot of it though can be addressed in the movie itself. Being a single set, well once the horror gets going anyway, the characters have to make some questionable choices, otherwise there wouldn’t be much of a movie. Sure the three of them could have went out right away and beat the guy up, hopefully, but they don’t know for sure if he is alone. But more importantly than that, they don’t know what kind of weapons, if any, that he might have. Knowing they are safe, since their debit card unlocks the door as well, would you just take off knowing that you may not be able to fight the guy off or one of you might get killed by the guy? I’m not saying they didn’t have their chances. There was plenty of times they didn’t know for sure where this guy was at. The guy had thought of that though, and I will just leave it at that. While I did think that ATM had it’s flaws, I still enjoyed it. It was one of those movies that had me talking to the characters. Not because they were doing stupid things, but because I was trying to help them out. I know they can’t hear me, but I couldn’t help it. I guess that just goes to show how caught up I was in the action going on at the time. I’m not usually a fan of one location films. It can get a little boring at times and hard to fill in a full length film. Director David Brooks and the writer do a good job with this though. Since it takes a little bit of time before they are trapped, and the ending is a little bit about the aftermath, it helps change things up. Speaking of the ending, it was a nice little twist with what happens. Not a shocking one, but it just goes to show that technology isn’t always our friend.
I would have liked to have seen ATM be more of a bloody film, but this isn’t a slasher film. It was more of a thriller, not that I mind that. There is a couple of scenes where the blood flows, but for big time horror fans, it is nothing. The acting was pretty good. I enjoyed the three from our little group. As far as I know this was the first time I have watched any of them in a film. I could be wrong though, I’m not the best at remembering faces at times, and don’t ask me to remember a name. I thought the interaction between the three worked very well, especially as we are getting to know the three of them. Some didn’t care for Josh Peck. I don’t know if it had to do with his character being kind of a ****, or just his acting. Either way, I didn’t think he was all that bad, much like the movie itself.
Some people need to learn what a plot hole is. Not knowing the who and why of the person doing the killings does not make it a plot hole. It didn’t bother me. There are plenty of movie out there where we never find out this information. It was scary enough to see this guy planning things out at the start and end credits. It appears to be something has done before, or least will do it again. The one problem I had with the killer is that even though he seemed to map everything out, he didn’t appear to show up with much to work with. A lot of what we see him use came from things around him. Maybe he knew this ahead of time, in part at least. ATM is really one of those movies that you just have to go with it in some cases. Like the water, which you will understand once you see it. I think a lot of people would like this one more if they had just paid attention more. There are so many questions about it on IMDb that was answered in the film itself. Sure ATM isn’t going to be one of the greats. It has its flaws, but I still ended up liking it all the same. It had some good tension at times, and any film that can get me talking to it in a good way deserves at least an average rating. If it sounds like a fun film to you, give it a watch.
3 out of 5 At least it was better than the ATM eating people...or would it be??