“ATM” has the makings of a good horror movie but in the end it just doesn’t have enough in the bank to make a withdrawal.
The story begins when David (Brian Geraghty) offers to give his office crush, Emily (Alice Eve) a ride home. Unfortunately for David, his overbearing friend Corey (Josh Peck) decides to be the third wheel. While on their way David stops at an ATM so Corey can get some money. What begins as a routine stop quickly turns into a fight for survival when a masked man traps the trio in the ATM. With the heat out and the temperature rapidly dropping the friends must find a way to escape before it’s too late.
Many horror movies rely on motive to instill fear in their viewers, but I believe it does the exact opposite. One of the most terrifying horror movies of all time, “Halloween” is so because Michael Myers didn’t have a motive for his killing spree. He just randomly decided to go after his sister and murder her. “The Strangers” is another film that takes motive out of the picture and creates a terrifying film. “ATM” tries to cash in but just never really pulls it off.
The movie definitely has the motive-less killer but where it really lacks is having characters that I care whether they live or die. I can’t say I blame Eve, Peck or Geraghty. They are trying to do what they can with their characters. Geraghty does well enough as the shy guy trying to win over his crush by giving her a ride home and Eve does fine as the crush, but their development doesn’t get far passed that point. Peck seems to have the most fun playing the prick, but his character just never goes enough either way to make you hope he lives or dies. It was interesting to see him in such a different character than his “Drake and Josh” days.
What I think bothers me the most about this movie is that these three people are trapped in a little ATM hut if you will with only one man trapping them. While it does become apparent that there are some booby traps, why wouldn’t these three just make a run for it in different directions? The killer can’t chase all three of you at once. It’s like the old saying goes; you don’t have to be faster than the psychotic murderer, just faster than the person you’re with.
While there are some intense moments and almost – but not really – likeable characters “ATM” really just falters in the end. It’s the implausibility and lack of character development that really kills the movie.
I would definitely suggest this release as a Redbox release at best, but it may not end up being worth the time and gas.
– Joe D.