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On January 9, 2009, five college students left New York City for a weekend in the country. 48 hours later, all five students have simply vanished without a trace. There were no leads and no evidence - until now.
In March of 2011, three filmmakers disappeared in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona while documenting their search for the Lost Dutchman mine. Their bodies were never found... but their camera was.
Ron Eagle D'Andre II,
Cristian and his sister, July, travel from Madrid to El Garraf with their parents and their little brother to spend the Holy Week in their old vacation home. They learn the legend of Melinda, a girl wearing a red dress that got lost in the labyrinth near the house, who helps people that also get lost in the spot. Carlos, a visiting family friend, tells the siblings that there are different, more sinister versions of the legend. July and Cristian use two hand-held cameras to explore the labyrinth and investigate the mystery of Melinda, until something horrible happens. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
We have reached the bottom. The "hand-held" technique has brought some good movies (such as REC, Cloverfield, Paranormal Activity and Chronicle), some mediocre ones (such as The Last Exorcism, The Devil Inside, Apollo 18 and Paranormal Activity 3) and some bad ones (such as REC², Paranormal Activity: Tokyo Night, Grave Encounters and Paranormal Entity), but none of them was as poor and tedious as Atrocious. This means that, from now on, things can only get better whenever I watch another "hand-held" movie in the future. Or that's what I would like to believe as a pathetic consolation after having wasted my time and my money in this piece of junk.
There's very few material in Atrocious in order to sustain a whole film, so screenwriter Fernando Barreda Luna (who was also the director) makes us to spend uncountable minutes walking through the woods in a useless attempt to create suspense or impulse the narrative to a more interesting direction...we will never find. And if that weren't enough, we are accompanied by the main character's redundant narration the whole time, which ended up irritating me with his insipid comments and extremely limited vocabulary of 15 words (at most), ten of which are profanity while the other ones are Spanish idioms I didn't understand (even though that was definitely my fault). Speaking about not understanding, the "horror" moments are so badly filmed that I could never notice what terrified the characters so much.
And then, we have a twist in the end from Atrocious, which pretends to surprise us, even though I found it so arbitrary and gratuitous that it doesn't satisfy, and it looks like an obligatory goop to bring some posthumous sense to the story. The poor dog could have been the guilty one of the whole thing, and it would have been exactly the same. Anyway...Spanish cinema has brought us some excellent horror films (such as El Día de la Bestia, The Others and the previously mentioned REC). Unfortunately, Atrocious doesn't belong to that group, and I can't recommend it, because I found it a deplorable film in which the only suspense came from hoping the movie not to extend itself too much.
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