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Atrocious (2011)

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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 1
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 0

audience

31

liked it
Average Rating: 2.7/5
User Ratings: 926

My Rating

Movie Info

Atrocious is a gruesome, mind-bending thriller shot in a style reminiscent of The Blair Witch Project. The horror film excerpts found footage from a film reel recovered by Spanish police, documenting a family of five discovering the truth behind a dangerous urban legend. The 37 hours of found footage follow Cristian and July Quintanilla passing time at their summer home by investigating a terrifying and mysterious urban legend. As their investigation intensifies, strange occurrences in and

Oct 25, 2011

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All Critics (18) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (8) | DVD (2)

The filmmaker is betting the bank on the unstable Blair Witch textures, and damn if subjective footage of implacable darkness, with screams coming from the woods you can barely see, doesn't still make your motor neurons jump, spark, and tingle.

August 16, 2011 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

there just isn't enough substance to stretch it out to a feature-length film

October 25, 2011 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

Mayhem occurs over a succession of nights, and yawns precede dawns.

September 18, 2011 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

Effectively creepy and impressively atmospheric, this is an enjoyable, well made Spanish horror that demonstrates that there's still life in the found footage format...

September 17, 2011 Full Review Source: ViewLondon
ViewLondon

The film, shot through the siblings' video cameras, is obviously cheaply made. Still, it rachets up the tension better than most of its genre.

September 16, 2011 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

The kids are screaming and the camera joggles us to the point of nausea but, at the end, the film's big reveal is just a cheap, dull shimmer.

September 15, 2011 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

Even if one or two things don't add up come the final twist, you're still in for a jittery hour.

September 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

Perhaps it is more an ingenious footnote than a radical game-changer in the shakicam subgenre, but it certainly marks Luna as a new talent to watch.

September 6, 2011 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

Yet another piece of "found footage," but it's a pretty cool one.

September 6, 2011 Full Review Source: FEARnet
FEARnet

Fans of low-budget indie horror might be able to forgive it, but for the rest of us it frustratingly squanders some eerie promise.

August 28, 2011 Full Review Source: What Culture
What Culture

This Spanish-language creep-out feels like a road we've been down before.

August 26, 2011 Full Review Source: Times-Picayune
Times-Picayune

Stylishly directed and palpably frightening because it leaves more to your imagination than most horror films do.

August 18, 2011 Full Review Source: NYC Movie Guru
NYC Movie Guru

Thankfully, writer/director Fernando Barreda Luna knows enough about building suspense to overcome the movie's many shortcomings.

August 13, 2011 Full Review Source: PopMatters
PopMatters

Atrocious is a primer on how NOT to make a found footage horror movie. The title is depressingly accurate.

August 12, 2011 Full Review Source: Aisle Seat
Aisle Seat

The scares - though effective, even chilling - come in scarce fits and starts...

August 9, 2011 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

Atrocious is far from tops in the annals of 'found-footage' thrillers, but it does know how to wrestle with expectations and ratchet suspense when it gets down to it.

August 9, 2011 Full Review Source: DustinPutman.com
DustinPutman.com

Audience Reviews for Atrocious

** out of ****

With "Atrocious", the Spaniards yet again jump on the bandwagon that is the Found Footage sub-genre of horror cinema. Some notable instances in which they've done this include "REC", its sequel, and a few more that I cannot name, for I have not seen them, nor can I properly identify them at the moment. Everyone wants in on this gimmick, which can't exactly be called a new one; given that "The Blair Witch Project" and even "Cannibal Holocaust" piqued the interest of penniless filmmakers worldwide some time ago. Mind you, it was probably "Paranormal Activity" that revived the gimmickry that is found footage, but we'll give credit to all who have earned it.

A family is murdered and found mutilated in the comfort of their summer home in Sitges, Spain. The police find a pair of high-tech video cameras at the scene. The footage that we see is supposedly a compilation of what was recovered from the cameras. We see all that we need to see, essentially. And what we see is this: a brother and a sister - Cristian and July - planning on borrowing their friend's video recording technology (hence, the camera) during their Easter visit to that house in Sitges. They are intrigued by a local legend (and so was I), which told of a woman dressed in red who disappeared into the hedge maze that lies right outside the premises, or perhaps more accurately, right on the premises, although it just takes the will to walk through a gate to get from the rocky driveway to the grassy grove.

It's said that this very woman that belongs to the legend still resides in the woods, but as a ghost; and she haunts those very grounds. The kids are hoping to capture some footage for, I dunno, shits and giggles sometime down the road; perhaps they have some Youtube show (or something like that) where they would present their ghastly findings. The opening of the film sort of implies something along the lines of that; although I can't be too sure. Anyways, that's what they plan to do; and at that, we can get going to the long, winding road that leads to the juicy stuff; the ghostly goods. If you go into this movie expecting for the creepy images to pile up almost instantly, you're not in luck, because this flick takes its precious little time at pretty much everything.

The film is 75 minutes long, and the first 60 is devoted almost entirely to build up. It's only in the last 20 minutes that we get some mildly satisfying footage, although the film understands one thing: that it's best to show as little as you possibly can when you want your movie to truly scare an experienced audience. For the final 20, it's fairly intense, and suitably so; but also painfully derivative. So is the rest of the movie. Look, I can appreciate the intent - and the film doesn't live up to its title whatsoever - but it offers nothing new (or particularly entertaining) as far as its genre, and sub-genre, go. There are indeed prolonged, entertaining stretches along the way - and if you know me, then you'll know that I love me some good suspense - but by the end, the whole thing has become one big cop out. They say a twisty finale can make or break a movie; in this case, it breaks and leaves a mess not well-worth cleaning up.

If "Atrocious" wants nothing more than to be a minor addition to the Found Footage trend that presents us with a few genuinely creepy moments and some shockingly convincing acting/directing; then the mission has been accomplished, and the film is fine. You know what; no matter what, I think it's just fine overall. I have no problem with it, and I admire certain aspects of the movie, but all-in-all, there just wasn't enough life in this old horse. Instead of being off-beat and different, it's a one-note, one-pulse horror movie; rendering it a rather dull and unimpressive affair. Still, I do think it's worth seeing so long as you can appreciate Found Footage type films, but just go in knowing that it won't keep you up at night, nor will anything about it truly stick with you. I had problems with the pacing, the uninteresting characters, and the lack of ambition. But alas, "Atrocious" doesn't seem to be an appropriate name for the final product; "Mediocrity" might have been just a little bit better.
March 2, 2012
Ryan M
Ryan Marshall

Super Reviewer

I love 'found footage' films! From the beginning I really feel like I'm just watching some random recording, instead of the fact that it's a movie. Knowing spanish really helped me appreciate the movie much more because when it comes to movies like this you take your eyes off the action and you miss everything in that one second. The acting was generally natural, just very few dialogues felt forced.

In terms of the plot, well, not what I expected - but in a bad way. The film builds up tension, keeps you guessing and leaves everything to your imagination but ultimately reaches that point of frustration. It's all revealed with a twist that really didn't do the movie much justice - Why didn't it happen the last time they were there? Why the urban legend? WHY? Also, I don't know if the point of the main character (Christian) was to be jerk but he really had me pissed through the whole movie.
September 29, 2011
surgeryx

Super Reviewer

Nothing new here, move along...
And what a lackluster ending.
September 23, 2011
Francisco  G.
Francisco Godinho

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Atrocious (Atroz) (DE)
  • Atrocious (Atroz) (UK)
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