Monday, October 22, 2012
This movie has been getting a lot of positive buzz, so I was excited to check it out. Here is an example of a movie with a small budget that understands its budgetary constraints and doesn't try to do anything more ambitious than tell a scary story, and it does that very well.
Three friends on the way home after an office Christmas party have to stop at an ATM to get some cash, and that's how everything begins. The audience has already seen a mysterious guy in a hooded coat looking at plans and schematics for the city, so we think he's planning something bad for these people in the ATM, but we're still not sure exactly what's going on when he shows up outside the ATM, standing at a distance in the shadows, exuding a sense of menace. he people in the ATM aren't sure what he wants to do either, until a hapless guy walks by with his dog and the man in the coat shows that he means business.
Most of the movie is spent with the three people in the ATM trying to decide what to do. They actually try several means of escape, unlike other people in movies like this who stand around with their thumbs up their butts waiting to get slaughtered, so it's good to see that they're not totally stupid and they actually want to try and get out of this situation, so that makes me like them more. They're not bad people, even though one of them is kind of a tool from the beginning, so it's harsh to see everything happening to them just because they picked the wrong ATM one night.
Movies like this can overstay their welcome if they go on and on and on with the same set of scenarios over and over and they don't know when to shut up, but this movie never gets old or overstays its welcome, and it has some surprises in store for us along the way. I actually screamed out loud at one point, and it's almost impossible to make me scream during a movie (my poor, poor neighbors). Overall I really enjoyed this movie and it's nice to see that, in a sea of recent horror movies that get everything wrong, some filmmakers still know how to get it right.