Saturday, January 19, 2013

ATM....Should have stayed a romantic comedy.

ATM is a simple story with a very interesting premise.  This kind-of-sort-of horror movie is about a faceless heavy coat wearing killer who traps three young people in a ATM booth in the freezing cold.  If the three try to leave he tries to kill them but if they don't try to escape they freeze to death in the ever dropping temperature.  It kind of reminds me of the movie FROZEN only at a lower elevation and only if I had actually watched FROZEN.  I guess that is the killer's way of murder.  He traps them and forces them to make drastic decisions on how they will escape and when they try he kills them.  Apparently the killer is some kind of jerk with too much time on his hands planning and mapping the view range of nearby surveillance cameras and where he can stand and not get seen at isolated ATM booths.  Sounds like a smart movie right?  It would be smart if I didn't have the time to think of all the incredible coincidences that occur in the film.  Unfortunately for ATM, like the killer, I'm a jerk that has way too much time on my hands too.

Now ATM starts off strong with our leading man clumsily trying to get the nerve up to ask a girl out on a date.  He has a friend who is a little outspoken pushing him to make the move.  The girl too likes our hero and the two start up a short lived romance.  What we have here is a movie that could have easily been a romantic comedy that would have been very entertaining.  ATM has interesting characters that are well acted.  The film is well directed drawing the viewer in with some great shots and scenes never throwing out fake scares to remind the audience that this is a horror movie.  You get a good vibe from the cast and they are like friends to you.  Then the three friends get in a car and decide to go to an ATM machine in the middle of the night after leaving a corporate Christmas party.  Then the bad horror movie stuff happens and the movie loses it's way.


So the three friends are trapped in a ATM in the middle of the city with no heat because the killer killed the heater and they can't use their phones because they are all out of batteries and the leading man's car doesn't lock leaving it open to the killer to rummage through and find tools that can be used to later frame the leading guy who survives.  The camera on the ATM only starts filming when stuff that makes the protagonist look like the killer.  For instance this guy dressed in the same coat as the killer walks into the ATM and they kill him thinking he is the killer and of course the camera captures that.  Luckily for the real killer that guy in the same coat showed up.  That's a lot of coincidences that helped the killer.  What a lucky bastard.  There are more but you get the idea.  If one of the main characters had a working cell phone this movie would be over in five minutes.  That is one smart killer knowing that whoever showed up would have no access to a phone.  Now maybe I missed something and most of these lucky breaks could be explained away but not all of them.

The coincidences ruin the movie especially at the end with the "big reveal" as to what the killer was doing.  By the end I was still confused.  At the end our hero lives but of course with the ATM camera capturing him doing things that made it look like he murdered everybody so the police arrest him and not the killer who is not on the cameras.  The movie pretends that the killer created the perfect crime but when you think about it nothing really works.  Near the end when our hero escapes the killer even makes a move toward the guy like he is going to kill him.  Was the killer really going to kill him?  Was he trying to frame him or not?  The cops show up stopping the killer from doing whatever he was doing.  Now we the audience are suppose to think "Hurray for the cavalry" but we have seen too many horror movies to know better.  We know the cops won't be smart enough to realize that our hero was just trying to escape.  Thanks, ATM but we all have seen the ending to INTRUDER.  It's on the NETFLIX too.

ATM thinks it's a clever smart edge of your seat thriller.  The problem is that when you think about it you can pick it apart in the details.  If it wasn't for that I could recommend this movie.  I am not too big of a fan of movies that mostly take place in one small confined room but if ATM was better thought out I would have at least liked this movie a lot more.

Yeah, I thought this movie was going to be porn too.



  1. This movie is such trash. I work retail, and a customer of ours asked for horror movie suggestions. I suggest a recent favorite of mine: Martyrs, which went over fine until I mentioned it was French. She stated her displeasure in reading subtitles, then asked if we had ATM instead; I knew what was going on at that point,

    Good article, though I'm surprised you enjoyed the beginning of the film, maybe I was too focused on what I knew I was in store for.

  2. Thank you, Johnny. You leave some great comments.