ATM Movie Review
Written by TGM
Movie released by IFC Films
Directed by David Brooks
Written by Chris Sparling
2012, 90 minutes, Rated R
Released on April 6th, 2012
Alice Eve as Emily
Josh Peck as Corey
Brian Geraghty as David
Aaron Hughes as Patrolman
Omar Khan as Christian
Will Woytowich as Sargent
Glen Thompson as Harold
Robert Huculak as Robert
ATM is a serviceable little horror/thriller that tries to put a unique spin on the “house under siege” genre. Two Wall Street up-and-comers and a comely secretary take an inadvisable detour in the wee hours after an office Christmas party. Stopping at an isolated ATM to fund a couple of slices of late-night pizza quickly becomes a decision they all immediately regret.
Two of the three protagonists are very likeable and have such a nice onscreen chemistry that you’ll almost wish that their fledgling relationship played out in another type of movie. Perhaps a romantic comedy, where the guy gets the girl and they all dance around the kitchen singing Otis Redding tunes into spatulas. Alas, such a pleasant fate is not in the cards for these two burgeoning lovebirds. Unfortunately our unlucky trio just happens to pick the very same ATM where a deranged sociopath in a snuggly Hoth inspired parka (let’s call him Northface Ned) chose as the next location to torment and torture frequenters of bank machines throughout the city. Personally, I like to do crosswords and take long walks on the beach, but I suppose everyone needs a hobby.
Without saying a single word, Northface Ned manages to scare the holy hell out of everyone now trapped within the confines of the ATM. As the frost begins to creep across the lobby windows from the temperatures dropping thanks to a sabotaged heating system, our heroes begin to do frantic and moronic things to get themselves killed. In fact, stupidity claims more lives in ATM than Northface Ned does.
The one thing I walked away from this movie knowing was that you can apparently beat the ever-living-shit out of an ATM and nobody will care. Our victims smash monitor screens, keypads, the walls, the floor, the heater, hell they even set off the sprinklers all in an attempt to draw attention to their plight. Of course this does not register even a flicker of acknowledgement from the police, a security company, the fire department, a maintenance crew, or the bank. So if any of you decide to test out this destructive behavior at your local bank in real life, please drop me an e-mail letting me know how it all works out for you.
Now, ATM is not perfect by any means, and there are some decisions made that require suspension of disbelief. For example, why park so far away from the machine on a frigid December night? It makes no sense, other than to setup the plot. Some might also think that two healthy young men and a girl could overpower an averaged size fellow in a Northface jacket fairly easily. Granted, that wouldn’t make much of a movie, but it still makes you scratch your head a bit while watching. There is a drawn out ending sequence that makes you think that there will be a mind-blowing final reveal that promises to skull-fuck your brain, but alas, the reveal comes and goes, eliciting not much more than a subtle “meh”. ATM is Cujo without the dog or Night of the Living Dead without the zombies. It’s simultaneously unique yet derivative. The motivations are murky, the decisions made are suspect, but it all surprisingly adds up a marginally entertaining hour and a half that will make you glad that you use online banking. Regardless of its flaws, I would be down for a sequel, A2M: Morally Bankrupt.
Video, Audio and Special Features:
Video, audio and special features will not be graded as this was a screener.
Want to comment on this review? You can leave one below or head over to the HorrorTalk Review Forum.