ATM (2012) – A Review
Three folks (Josh Peck, Brian Gerahty and Alice Eve from She’s Out of My League) are trapped in an ATM booth with a shadowy, winter-coat-wearing, psycho killer outside not letting them leave. This creepy guy is killing bystanders and security guards in the frigid cold and looks like he’s waiting to gut these folks once he can get his hands on them. Can they figure out a way to get out of this booth, signal for help and survive this horrific encounter?
ATM is a low-budget claustrophobic thriller. It’s one of those single locale movies that is the setting for a life or death survival tale for some trapped characters. Open Water, Frozen, Cube, P2, Phone Booth, Buried, 127 Hours, Lifeboat, Gravity, there’s been plenty.
They can be really well done high-concept stories. It all depends on the execution to elevate it from just being a novel sounding little idea.
With ATM the execution is sloppy and lacking to sustain this trapped tale. The kills are uninspired, the characters quite boring and stupid and the ending…..will make you feel even more like you just wasted your time. It’s a terrible, unsatisfying ending. I think even if you were enjoying the movie, once the ending hits folks will be frustrated.
There’s red herrings sprinkled in to explain motivations and reasons behind this predicament, but there really isn’t any story. The herrings are the only thing the movie has to make you think there’s some rationale behind all this. There’s no logical explanations as to why any of this is happening. So, you better either just accept it and not think about it or you’ll be in trouble.
Ok, let’s just swallow this ATM scenario and try to enjoy this suspenseful tale of three folks being trapped in this booth by a killer. It still doesn’t work.
These three characters are complete idiots. These are the type of characters that have audiences yelling back at the screen, “Why are you doing that?”, “Why don’t you do such and such”, “Now they just figured that out?”, “Oh come on!”
The three act more like dopey adolescents rather than mature well payed financiers. Based on watching the way they behave anyone who would let them even look at their personal finances, let alone trust them to invest for them would be nuts. These three would be better suited to be a pack of bank tellers – and even then I wouldn’t trust them!
They simply act stupid in order to prolong their ordeal longer so we get a movie out of this thin premise. The filmmakers don’t really get much mileage to sustain this scenario into a ninety-minute movie. Instead of it being a tight, well constructed nail-biting, escalating story of tension, it comes undone pretty quickly and will just have you rolling your eyes at some of the absurd decisions being made to keep these three trapped in that ATM.
It’s a low-budget B-movie, so I wouldn’t necessarily expect some kind of classic thriller out of this, but it doesn’t even deliver on it’s most basic premise of doing anything worthwhile with the idea. It’s not inventive, it’s very forgettable and it won’t have you hesitating walking into an ATM booth in the future haunted by nightmares of this happening to you. You’ll forget all about this rather quickly.
If you do ever get trapped inside an ATM booth by a hooded killer, rest assured you’ll handle the situation better than these three do.