The Spanish horror film ‘Atrocious’ lives up to its title
A low-budget Spanish horror movie written and directed by Fernando Barreda Luna, Atrocious takes a page out of the Blair Witch Project/Paranormal Activity playbook and utilizes home videos in the attempt to come off as something more realistic than your everyday slasher flick. Problem is, there’s just not much of a story here. The first 30 minutes of the film, which arrived on DVD this week, consists of clips of found footage taken by the teenage kids of a family that decided to spend Easter vacation at their family’s summer home.
Cristian Quintanilla (Cristian Valencia) and his sister July (Clara Moraleda) film themselves as they romp through the woods and goof around. The tone shifts, however, as their father’s friend shows up and then tells them a story about a girl who got lost in the woods. This part of the movie is extremely uneventful and boring. They only start to think something isn’t quite right after their dog Robin disappears, and they find the poor creature at the bottom of a well. When family members start getting knocked off, Cristian and July run through the woods at night with night vision camera equipment in tow as they try to see what the heck is going on. As the scary (and violent) stuff does start to happen, the film becomes quite intense (and some creepy sound effects and hand-held video footage exacerbate the horror). But it’s a case of too little, too late. One extra feature on the DVD is that you can watch a dubbed version of the movie; since the video quality is so bad and you often can’t see people faces as they talk, it doesn’t take too much away from the movie to watch the dubbed version. But that still doesn’t justify the purchase of this DVD.