My first thought going into found footage film Atrocious was “Never title your movie ATROCIOUS in the age of cyber bashing….”
Alas, the number of jabs about the movie’s quality equaling its title are all over the Internet. I know found footage films are played out. But I watch them all anyway, because once in a while, they rock. Atrocious isn’t one of those times, even though there are some tense moments and a fresh twist. Here it is in a nutshell:
– A teen brother and sister at their vacation home want to document the urban legend about a girl in a red dress who disappeared in a hedge maze in the yard.
– They interview a neighbor about the legend.
– They explore the maze with their cameras and viewers get totally disoriented.
– They find some videos in the basement and watch some disturbing stuff but are distracted by a sound.
– Their dog disappears, they look for him in the maze, they find him.
– Their little brother disappears at night, their mother runs into the maze looking for him.
– The teens chase after her—each with a separate camera.
– The perspective jumps between the two cameras but we can barely tell when because it’s just nonstop bouncing and footage of the ground in night vision green. Sea sickness ensues.
– Teen brother gets dragged by something, but gets away and runs.
EEK! Scary demon? Nope. That’s just what night vision does to your eyes.
– He finds sister tied up. Releases her. She steps on a nail. They go back to the house.
– He closes her in a cabinet and runs upstairs because something is breaking into the house.
– He comes back downstairs.
– He goes into the basement. The TV is on and he’s confused by the footage he sees. He screams.
– Cut to still shots of dead bodies all over the house and audio of their neighbor calling 911.
– A headache inducing “rewind” of footage.
– We see that what terrified the brother in the basement was the appearance of the person from the tape he was watching.
There. I saved you 75 minutes of nausea without giving away the end. What did the girl in the red dress have to do with it all? Nothing.
Imagine this picture bouncing up and down and spinning in circles and you’ve seen most of the movie. If you thought The Blair Witch Project was brilliant, you’ll love Atrocious.