Movie Review: ‘ATM’ is Certainly Not Too Big to Fail
ATM has set a new low for me movie wise. It’s essentially Frozen but inexplicably worse. Yes, you read right Adam Green can rest easy knowing that Chris Sparling exists and writes scripts. ATM makes Frozen look like Casablanca. (I’m only slightly joking here, Frozen still makes me want to play the piano and by play I mean punt and by piano I mean babies). Sparling must have been taking some money out of an ATM one night and had the epiphany of “what if there was a serial killer that killed people who used the ATM” and then wrote a movie about it. It’s as I was using a public bathroom and thought “what if there was a serial killer that killed people that used public bathrooms” and then wrote a movie about it and titled it the extremely creative Public Bathroom. But hey, who am I, I couldn’t possibly write a movie like that or one where a guy is buried alive the entire fucking movie. Confused? Sparling also wrote the phenomenally boring Buried. At this point you shouldn’t be surprised but you should be starting to see the trend with the movies he’s written; stupidity.
ATM revolves around Emily (Alice Eve), Corey (Josh Peck) and David (Brian Geraghty) who go to an ATM booth and end up inexplicably fighting for their lives when an apparent serial killer appears. I say inexplicably here now for the third time because days later I am still flabbergasted as to why they end up fighting for their lives at all as opposed to walking outside and making the “killer” fight for his life.
The first plot point worth noting is that it’s about 4 degrees outside and David is trying to get back to Emily’s place as fast as possible to most likely attempt to bang her out like a carpenter building a shed. Corey, David’s good friend is being a major c-blocker and forces David to stop at an ATM before they can get him food and drop him off home. That’s about the most realistic scenario in the entire movie. Not that movies like this need to be completely realistic but when you’re setting it up in a realistic setting I would think there would be more than a cock blocking best friend for realism. Anyway, I think any male in the aforementioned situation would try to make the ATM stop as fast as possible. I mean it’s already almost 1:30am another hour and Emily is going to be telling David about how tired she is and just wants to cuddle. But hey, maybe I’m wrong, either way I don’t see the point of parking 50 feet from the ATM rather than pulling up right next to it. It’s not like in the 2 minutes it normally takes someone to withdraw money from an ATM he was going to get anything more than a mini make out session.
The next phenomenally stupid aspect of the movie is the “killer” himself. You may have noticed that I use quotes around killer, that’s because he doesn’t as much kill them as rely on their own stupidity to kill themselves. The “killer” is a guy in winter gear (which looks amazingly warm and comfy I might add). For someone seemed intent on killing people he’s not very prepared because he has no weapons; in fact he kills a random guy walking his dog by punching him in the face and smashing his head against the concrete. Furthermore, he’s a normal sized guy, not a giant like Mike Myers from Halloween or even Mike Meyers as fat bastard. Thus, it boils down to two fairly fit looking guys and one girl against one normal sized weaponless man that is dressed warmly and seemingly giving them dirty looks from a distance. It is this point here that makes it much worse than Frozen considering gravity > man in down jacket. Three adults can easily defeat a man in a down jacket; in fact at one point in the movie the two guys do. Let’s just say gravity has an unblemished record against mankind. If the characters in Frozen were in this movie, they laugh at the so called killer and walk right out the ATM booth door to confront the killer; granted wolves would probably come out of nowhere and kill them before they go to him, but that’s a different story.
Okay so maybe the three characters are developmentally challenged but are really good at hiding it. Why not just call the police? OH wait everyone’s phone battery is dead and Emily is the only female in existence to leave her purse with her phone in it in the car. Now that that’s out of the question they alternate between trying to make a run for it to the car and triggering an alarm by smashing the ATM machine. Conveniently, after a failed attempt to get to the car the killer finds a fully stocked tool box in the trunk of of it. That would have made sense if David wasn’t a Financial consultant that worked in a corporate office.
It gets even better. Really. The last plot point that I want to point out due to sheer stupidity is when the killer attempts to flood this tiny ATM booth. Yes, you read right, flood an ATM booth. The killer opens up the back of the ATM booth (using the tools he found in the back of David’s car) and starts pumping water in through a vent on the floor via a fire hose he found. Freezing weather and water usually make for a pretty uncomfortably time but that’s it. Especially, when there’s a conveniently located door that can be opened to watch the water pour in on one side and go right out the other. But wait, the killed has managed to push the car 50 feet through the parking lot and then stop it on a dime in front of the door to keep it from opening all the way. Still the door opens slightly which would let a majority of the water escape (David tries to open it and it shows the door opening a few inches). Clearly the logical thing to do here is attempt to light a fire to set off the fire alarm. With the help of a lighter, they are able to do this by putting Emily on David’s shoulders which, for the record, took about 5 minutes longer than it should have before they realized that’s the only way to reach the fire alarm. But alas, in about 3 inches of water holding a garbage can on fire with the fire alarm now going off it makes perfect to celebrate. AND of course they fall, leaving Emily apparently dead and me to say out loud “are you fucking kidding me.”
Worst of all the movie ends with the killer going back to his hidden lair to plan another ATM attack, which reveals that this wasn’t the first time he’s stared so much at someone using at ATM machine so veracious they end up offing themselves. I’d much rather eat people and get caught then rely on the lack of IQ of my victims to essentially kill themselves while I prance around in my furry hooded jacket. It’s like a hunter going out to hunt deer but he doesn’t bring any weapons, relying on the mere sight of himself to make the deer promptly pull out a gun and shoot itself.
It might not seem that way but there are plenty of other awesomely stupid moments that I left out for those of you that want to see this movie. Which I recommend you do because it will give you a greater appreciation for all other horror movies, especially those based around a serial killer. Hell, it even made the one in Gone seem like when he’s not killing people he’s building rocket ships for NASA.
Rating: Watching Lehman brothers die was better than watching the characters here die. (2/10)