From a brief browse at the plot of ‘psychological thriller’ ATM, it seems that horror films are running out of places to put people in a sticky situation.
In a nutshell three friends are pinned into an ATM machine bunker, by a mysterious hooded person who kills anyone who tries to get near him or the ATM. Initially it has the isolation and claustrophobic feel of Adam Green’s superb horror ‘Frozen’, where three friends are left stranded high above in a chairlift in freezing conditions.
The principals are the same in essence, but what ATM lacks is the depth of character from Frozen, with all three having their lives threatened at one point or another; but we as the audience suffering from a lack of connection to their plights.
Whilst the killer’s motivations remain unclear throughout; we are treated to some suspenseful set pieces including a heart in your mouth chase to a car and without trying to giving too much away, the potential of drowning.
Resolution is not always prominent in the genre, but the most frustrating thing about ATM’s antagonist, is the lack of information we are given behind him or her; the cards are kept too close to the director’s chest in this case. We are left to wonder, and given a couple of throwaway motives throughout but we never have any sort of unmasking, or come close to it.
ATM definitely had potential to rank itself alongside ‘Frozen’ as one of the best psychological thrillers in recent times, but plot holes unfortunately mean it falls short of this and will certainly will remain one of the nearly moments in the genre’s history.