‘ATM’ Movie Review
What would you do if a hooded stranger had you trapped in a glass booth in the dead of winter? That is the question posed by the new thriller, ATM, but the answer to the question is neither clear-cut nor easy, if there ever was one at all.
Although slow out of the gate, the central conflict in the film is enough to make anyone anxious. I wish that level of tension had been present from the start, but the opening credits flip back and forth between main character David (Brian Geraghty) starting his work day and scenes of what appear to be car accidents, something that is never explained later on. It’s an incongruous beginning which isn’t helped until about half an hour later when the action finally picks up.
Thanks to his third-wheel frat buddy from hell, Corey (Josh Peck), David’s impromptu date with his co-worker, Emily (Alice Eve), ends with all three of them being held hostage in an ATM booth in the middle of nowhere. With temperatures dipping below zero and a killer silently proving that the only thing he wants is to terrify them before they die, can they work together to outsmart their terrorist, or will he win no matter what they do?
With the exception of some clunky dialogue and stock characters (who I have to admit are handled as best they could be by the trio of actors), I enjoyed the film for what it was: a lower budget thriller. I jumped several times, as a matter of fact. There are enough violent parts to satisfy any horror buff who hasn’t been completely desensitized, but not enough to turn away the casual viewer.
It’s a smaller film, but the intimacy with which it was shot doesn’t mean that it comes off looking bad. Far from it, actually. Director David Brooks did an admirable job making the movie feel bigger than it really was. While I wish that the beginning could have been reworked, I think the ending was perfect. Not only did it leave the audience unsettled, but it opened the door for a sequel. Knowing the horror film industry, that door will probably be stepped through. Several times.
ATM opens to limited theaters today April 6th and is currently available nationwide on VOD.