In 1975 Jaws made us sacred to go into the waters. In 1999 the Blair Witch Project made us scared to go into the woods. Many other horror films have feed into our phobias by showing us images of the things we our most frighten of. So In hindsight it’s a bit strange that it took so long for a horror film to address our fears about going to the ATM at night. But yet again writer Chris Sparling probably should have taken some more time polishing his script.
ATM starts off at an office Christmas party where our leading man Corey (Brian Geraghty) decides to finally ask Emily (Alice Eve) out on a date on her last day working in the same office. After talking for a while Corey offers Emily a ride home, she accepts. Everything seems to be going okay for Corey until his friend David joins along for the ride. On their way to dropping off David, David suddenly decides that he is hungry but has no money so they stop by an ATM. Having trouble taking out money for his card, David asks Corey for some help leaving Emily in the car by herself. After a while she gets scared and walks into the ATM as well. Soon after our killer, a man in a heavy coat shows up setting up the rest of the film.
The film has a lot of problems from the script which has are three “heroes” standing around doing nothing to the acting which has all three actors trying their hardest to act scared but the biggest problem is probably the villain. He’s basically an unarmed man in a large coat that stands outside of the ATM staring at the three people inside, that’s it. Sure the film tries to make him into a true villain as he kills an innocent bystander within seconds of him appearing on screen but he never truly comes off as frightening.
The film never gives you a reason to care for any of these characters as they make one stupid mistake after the other. Going to an ATM at one in the morning on a Christmas night you would think a person would park their car as close to the ATM as possible but not our three protagonists. Nope not them they decide to park their car as far away from the ATM as possible while leaving everything in the car including their cell phones. Everything they end up doing is just maddening and frustrating to watch.
By the time the climax of the film comes around you’ve lost all interest in the outcome of these characters as the whole final is one unintentional riot. The final shows the lack of logic and care that the filmmakers put into the movie. The final has our villain trying to drown our “heroes” inside of the ATM which is impossible as the front door is blocked, but can be made ajar. This leads Emily to climb onto Corey’s shoulders to try and set off the fire sprinklers, because breaking one of the windows which had been established as breakable earlier on is now suddenly an impossibility.
The whole film just seems to be one bad thing happening after another with no real fluid that keeps the movie going. But with that said the movie is only 86 minutes and is dull entertainment so I would recommend watching this only if there is nothing else to watch, 2 ½ out of 5.
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