Atrocious

Critics Consensus

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56%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 18

29%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 993
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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 around the house escalate rapidly, culminating finally in unspeakable atrocities. -- (C) Bloody Disgusting

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Critic Reviews for Atrocious

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (8)

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

    Sep 16, 2011 | Rating: 3/5
  • 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.

    Sep 15, 2011 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Xan Brooks

    Guardian
    Top Critic
  • 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.

    Sep 6, 2011
  • 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.

    Aug 16, 2011 | Full Review…
  • there just isn't enough substance to stretch it out to a feature-length film

    Oct 25, 2011 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Mayhem occurs over a succession of nights, and yawns precede dawns.

    Sep 18, 2011 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Atrocious

  • Oct 28, 2015
    Some really intense visual queues to get behind, to be sure, but apart from that there was nothing much to love. The real problem however, lies in Atrocious' being Spanish. Now I'm not one of those types that will refuse to watch a film simply because it isn't in English, chuck me some subtitles or a dialogue-light premise and we're good to go. Unfortunately, Found Footage Horror and poor audio dubbing make strange bedfellows to say the least. The end result is that there's absolutely no suspension of disbelief to be had, which (apart from being cheap) is sort of Found Footage's whole thing. I'd quite like to hear from someone who *does* speak Spanish, and manages to find a copy of the film in its original language, to see what they thought of it. Unfortunately, I can only respond based on my own personal experience, which was pretty poor.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 02, 2012
    ** 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.
    Ryan M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 26, 2012
    Despite that it treads very familiar territory and doesn't really bring anything that fresh to the found footage genre it still remains as formidable than ever. The film starts off pretty much like The Blair Witch Project introducing us to ordinary people who are documenting their research on figuring out an old legend but soon get attacked by an unknown force or being and things turn from normal to terrifying. This film is uber creepy with an fantastic atmospheric setting that will send chills to your bones and intense suspense that will have you grabbing you seat as well as believable performaces from the likable leads that makes the whole ordeal that more effective and downright disturbing. It was scary but doesn't have alot of nonstop jolts like the Paranormal Activity series but the intensity is their and the fear of the unknown and the big reveal at the end was clever and shocking and gave it an even more sinister tone that will get under your skin but still expected something bigger and different but liked the direction it took which was a different change of pace. The violence in this film though basically off screen is brutal and twisted once revealed after the fact and is the things of nightmares. Overall I wouldn't say it's with the top dogs of the found footage genre but I liked it a little bit more than the very disappointing Paranormal Activity 3 and I liked the direction it took more and this one was just more unsettling and better executed and a more disturbing story. Worth a look just don't expect something with tons of jump scares just more shock value. 6.3 ouf of 10
    Matt S Super Reviewer
  • Sep 29, 2011
    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.
    Chris H Super Reviewer

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