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A Movie Review on ATM Directors Cut (2012)
ATM, directed by newcomer David Brooks and written by Chris Sparling (Buried), focuses on three co-workers who after leaving a late night Christmas part stop into an ATM to get money for food. Just as they about the leave a man in a hooded snow coat appears outside in the parking lot, stopping them from leaving the safety of the ATM kiosk as they question what exactly is he doing. Things take an unexpected turn (for the three co-workers that is) when the hooded figure kills a man walking his dog through the parking lot. Things go from bad to worse as the three co-workers struggle to survive the night against this hooded mad man.
One thing that gets tossed around a lot about this movie is the fact that it bares a lot of resemblance to the 2002 film Phone Booth starring Colin Farrell. While the setting and basic premise are somewhat similar, with both films taking place in a small enclosed area while a singular foe threatens them from the outside, the remainder of ATM bares little, if any, similarities to Phone Booth until a scene towards the end. Although not the most original horror film, nor the scariest by any margin, ATM is able to solidify itself as a decent horror flick.
Brian Geraghty (The Hurt Locker) and Alice Eve (She's Out of My League) do well enough with their roles to keep you invested in their characters. You care what happens to them and root for them to make it out alive. Josh Peck (Drake and Josh) on the other hand is the exact opposite. His character is annoying and quite unlikable. When his life is threatened you don't really feel anything for him and are glad its not either of the other two. The Hooded Man does a good job at being a menacing but human like villain, especially when he does not speak throughout the entire film.
The movies downfall lies in its script. There is no rhyme, reason or motive behind the terrorizing of these three co-workers. Nothing is explained, nor hinted at throughout the entire film as to why anything is happening. The villain is portrayed as being quite smart, which lends the idea that there has to be some sort of motive for doing all of this, but the audience is given nothing. The movie ends leaving you sitting there saying, "What's the point of this movie?" There are other questions/problems with the script including why do the protagonists park so far away from the ATM kiosk at 1am?, why don't the two male protagonists try to take on the hooded man instead of waiting there to die?, why are things brought to our attention that serve no purpose to the movie at all, such as the door to the ATM kiosk being able to swing open freely, etc.
ATM suffers from a weak script and a disappointing ending but is held up by its good acting, enough suspenseful moments, and its ability to provide enough entertainment through its 90 or so minutes to keep the viewer interested.
ATM was released on DVD and Blu-ray July 31st 2012.
Directed by David Brooks. Starring Brian Geraghty, Alice Eve, and Josh Peck.
Rated R. Runtime: 90 Minutes