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Atrocious

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    Ian Jane
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  • Atrocious



    Released by: Bloody Disgusting Selects

    Released on: October 25, 2011

    Director: Fernando Barreda Luna

    Cast: Cristian Valencia, Clara Moraleda, Chus Pereiro, Sergi Martin

    Year: 2010

    Purchase from Amazon


    The Movie:


    Writer/director Fernando Barreda Luna is the man behind Atrocious, a movie that begins when we're told about an urban legend surrounding the existence of a girl who exists in the woods near Sitges who will lead people through the thick brush. Enter the Quintilla family, primarily the three kids - Christian (Christian Valencia), July (Clara Moraleda) and young Jose (Sergi Martin) - who are interested in the story. It just so happens that they're heading out to that area to stay in the old family home to celebrate some holidays and are going to be bringing some camcorders with them to see what they can dig up.


    Things are going fine at first, but then late one night the family dog goes missing. Jose, being the most attached to the poor pup, runs into the woods at which point mom (Chus Pereiro) goes into a panic and chases after him. Christian and July follow suit and before you know it, the shit has really hit the fan and a lot of people are dead.


    First things first, Atrocious just flat out takes too long to get going. For a movie that runs a scant seventy five minutes, it spends at least forty of those minutes showing Christian and July more or less wandering around commenting on things that they find around the house and property. It's all well and good to show them uncovering old video tapes of Godzilla, Bruce Lee and Argento movies and of course it makes sense that they'd do their preliminary exploring of the surrounding woods during the day time but this doesn't really generate much excitement. There are a few clues dropped here and there that do a good job of foreshadowing things and we just know that it's all going to go to hell in a handbasket before the movie finishes up, but a little more excitement early on would have gone a long way towards making this more interesting then it turns out to be.


    With that said, you've got to give Fernando Barreda Luna credit for really ramping things up in the last twenty five minutes or so. Once the action shifts to the woods at night we're firmly in Blair Witch Project territory, a comparison you can't help but make, and something which will obviously divide horror fans but Luna really controls the outcome here and paces things rather intensely. As such, Atrocious is a movie worth seeing as it does manage to pull you in and offer up a few good scares before the end credits hit the screen - but just be forewarned that getting to the good parts will require a bit more determination than most films and that those put off by the whole 'found footage' thing will likely not be into this movie at all.


    Video/Audio/Extras:


    The 1.78.1 anamorphic widescreen transfer on this disc is fine for what it is considering that pretty much the entirety of the movie is seen through the eyes of the camcorders used in the story and that much of it is shot in the dark using night vision. There's a bit of shimmer here and there and some mild aliasing but no problems with compression artifacts to note. Color reproduction looks decent in the day time scenes and obviously isn't much to write home about in the night vision scenes but the transfer is pretty much fine, all things considered.

    The Spanish language Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound mix is also of pretty decent quality, spreading the effects and the score around with some slick style and demonstrating properly balanced levels from start to finish. You'll really notice this during the chase through the woods at night towards the end of the film where there are some very distinctive pans in the rear channels that sneak up on you surprisingly well. The optional English subtitles are clean, clear and easy to read.

    Extras are slim, limited to trailers for a few other Bloody Disgusting Selects titles, a trailer for the feature, and a fifteen minute behind the scenes featurette that contains a few on set interviews with the cast and crew and some footage shot on the set during production. Menus and chapter stops are also found on the disc.


    The Final Word:


    Atrocious really takes its sweet-ass time to get going and to be blunt, the first two thirds of the movie are about as exciting as watching paint dry - and then it decides to kick it into high gear in the last act, almost redeeming itself. The finale is tense, exciting and bizarre and had the earlier parts of the film had given us more to chew on this film could have been a contender. As it stands, those who dig the whole found footage/camcorder epic thing will still appreciate what's been done on a fairly small scale here. Not a complete waste of time, but don't hurt yourself trying to see it.























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