Director: David Brooks
Cast: Brian Geraghty, Josh Peck, Alice Eve
Screenplay: Chris Sparling
90 mins. Rated R for violence and terror.
I’m a bit of a sucker for bottle movies, films set in a singular location for a bulk of the run time. The most popular of this subgenre in the realm of horror tend to be siege films like Night of the Living Dead, but there’s also the “slowly going insane” of 1408, and the “how do I get out of here?” of Buried. Today’s film is a bit of a siege tale mixed with “how do I get out of here?” and it’s all set in an ATM vestibule.
Following the company holiday party, David (Brian Geraghty, The Hurt Locker, Flight) has a perfect opportunity to spend time with his crush, Emily (Alice Eve, Star Trek Into Darkness, Bombshell), until his buddy Corey (Josh Peck, Ice Age: The Meltdown, Spun) joins along, drunk and annoying. The three stop off at an ATM to get cash, but as soon as they are inside, they spot a man in a parka standing outside, watching them. It quickly becomes clear that he’s waiting for them to exit in order to kill them. Now, with the power cut in the vestibule, and the night slowly freezing them, they need a plan…and quick.
I’ve seen a lot of discussion around this film’s characters being so stupid, and I guess, as a horror fan, I’ve always expected stupid decisions in horror because people make bad calls when they’re in danger. People don’t think straight, and I saw most of these decisions being less about stupidity and more about lack of risk. None of these characters make significant risks when I, sitting on my couch, would have bolted for the car several times.
Perhaps I was also taken by the great chemistry between Geraghty and Eve. I’ve been A big fan of Alice Eve for some time now, and I personally feel like she should have a bigger presence in Hollywood after a solid run in the late 2000s and early 2010s. There’s a certain believable awkwardness between David and Emily at the beginning of the film that carries through to the emotional final moments.
ATM is not the NEXT BIG THING. It came and went in 2012 for a reason, but I found more to like than not in the finished product. If you’re a fan of single-location horror, this one is still working looking back on.
-Kyle A. Goethe