So Bloody Disgusting.com has released a Spanish language film called Atrocious. I’d heard some good things about it and was more than a little interested in seeing it. BD has a bit of a reputation as one of the best sites for horror movie news so if they are getting behind this film is must be something cool right? No, not so much. Atrocious is a boring Blair Witch knock off with less woods and more house with a big twist ending that when finally revealed will make you say: “oh, that’s kinda neat I guess..”
The story is that of a family taking a vacation in the country at the childhood home of their mother. The two oldest siblings, July and Christian, are into ghost hunting and urban legends and decide to document their investigation into a local legend about a girl who was lost in the woods. With two high end documentary grade cameras the kids find a big labyrinth behind the house that they spend several boring days investigating. Finally things start to amp up a bit when the family dog goes missing. The brother and sister duo go into the labyrinth to investigate and finally find the dog dead at the bottom of a well. Then more boring stuff happens before finally in the last 15 minutes someone goes missing and we get the requisite “Twist-ending” that is supposed to shock us.
Like almost every “found footage” film ever released, Atrocious suffers from the problem of a lot of boredom for an hour and a half before we finally get some spooky payoff. The Blair Witch Project tried to avoid this by having the investigation of the legend of the Blair witch play a role in the narrative so we learn some stuff along the way that hopefully won’t bore us to tears. However even that didn’t save the film from being a bore. Atrocious comes up with a half assed story about a lost girl that haunts the woods near their vacation home for the Brother and sister to investigate along with a big ass labrynth for them to run around in. However nothing at all of interest happens for most of the films running time. It just comes off as yet another example of why “found footage” films need to go away and never come back. If the filmmakers had made Atrocious a 30 minute short film I think it could have been a riveting and exciting ride but in a 90 minute movie it just takes forever to do anything.
I’ve never been a fan of “found footage” movies because even if they are done well, you still won’t want to sit down and watch it again. You’re watching something that once it blows its load you have no reason to revisit it. There is no cinematography or interesting camera angles or decent dialogue. Its just a shaky camera with a bright light blowing out everything in front of the lens and that’s boring. If that entertains you then by all means check out Atrocious but I’ll stick to films by directors that actually care about whats in the frame.