Thursday, December 1, 2011

Atrocious (2010)

Fear 3/5
Gore 2/5
Entertainment 2/5
Creepiness 3/5

 Are you getting tired of reading reviews for found footage flicks? Well I'm not tired of watching them (not yet at least). So I hope you're not getting too burnt out. I promise this is the last review of the year to feature this style of film and more reviews for other types of films are in the pipeline. I can definitively say that 2011 is the year of the found footage flick. I think the total tally now is 17?! But I digress.

Atrocious starts similar to other films of this ilk: a pair of teens, a brother and sister, beg their parents to take them out to their old countryside home in search of an urban legend, hoping to document its existence. After much poking and prodding, the initially reluctant parents relent and come to admit that it'd be good to get away for awhile.

So as the legend goes, the young woman who haunts the countryside is either an angel sent to help guide you out of the woods if you're lost or a devil that shows you the wrong way out. Essentially, the path to your demise. She approaches you from behind and emits a soft whisper into your ear to gain your attention. Nicely dressed, the lost traveler immediately comes under her spell and can't help but follow her guide.

The family make their way out and quickly settle in. Dad leaves soon upon arrival as works comes a calling. Along with their younger brother and family dog, the pair of teens venture out into the surrounding woods and they find that the property is close to an intricate hedgerow of trees, a maze which they find themselves easily lost in. But because it's daylight, they eventually make their way out but not before they mark certain landmarks with chalk so they can find their way out when not much light is available.

The early goings of the film are long and drawn out as the pair of teens explore the area only to find nothing but a dried up well. Some creepy moments occur at night as the camera is left turned on and pointed out the window, focused on the driveway and the pathway that leads out to the maze. The dog, clearly having focused its attention on something, barks and paces nervously at the edge of the pathway.

Things pick up when the siblings play back some of their video and see a brief glimpse of a dark figure in the woods. Things escalate further when the family dog goes missing that night and the pair find him dead, gutted and thrown into the bottom of the well. Frightened, they run back to the house but not before they get lost in the maze. Eventually, they find each other and make their way back to the house utilizing the chalk marks they drew earlier.

Here's where tensions and anxiety mount: the skeleton of their little brother is found in the fireplace and mom is nowhere to be found. Thumps and bumps on walls and across the floor spook them, sending the girl into the kitchen to hide in the pantry and the brother runs upstairs and locks himself in one of the bedrooms. After some pounding on his bedroom door, he eventually opens it and finds that the coast is clear. He heads back downstairs, finding blood in the kitchen and a gash across the basement door. He heads downstairs and into the heart of the basement and its revealed to him who's killed the family. I won't spoil it but let's just say the film moves from the supernatural to the very real. And it makes absolutely no sense. None. What. So. Ever.

It'd be easy to call this probably the worst moniker ever to grace a film, making it primed for ridicule but Atrocious has it's moments. It's just that the ending is not fitting whatsoever compared to the whole of film. And that my friends makes this one serious dud.

Cortez the Killer


The Film Connoisseur said...

Thanks for the warning!

Dod said...

Great review!

You and I both have been on a found footage roll!

I thought the build-up of this movie was great, but that ending. Unlike Skew where I know both of us just sat amazed at what we just saw, this one had me saying, "wait, what?" I found it OK for what it was, but just not what I was hoping for.

Planet of Terror said...

@TFC, so I've read other reviews which love the ending. I don't want to completely discourage folks as it does have some redeeming qualities. I just absolutely hated it.

@Dod, thanks. Exactly. My same reaction. 'What what? That made absolutely no sense given the context of the entire film.'