Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Teenage Manners are Atrocious

Last night, I learned a good number of things about the creature society has come to call "teenagers". For instance, did you know that all teenagers feel the irresistible compulsion to film absolutely every single moment of their, usually boring, lives? I thought this was a tendency rampant only among Americans, but I came across evidence to contradict that. Yes, if the film Atrocious is to be believed, adolescents in Spain have nothing better to do than film their hum-drum daily goings on using what appear to be expensive digital video cameras too. Who gives expensive cameras to kids anyway?

I don't know why you where given a camera either.

Yes, friends, we've come across some found footage, left among the bodies of an entire murdered family. So, that's fun. The authorities find and review 37 hours of footage, taken by brother an sister duo Cristian and July over five days of vacation at an old family estate. That's right, 37 hours filmed in just five days. With all that filming, how are they going to find time to drink and smoke pot? I mean honestly, it's as if they don't want to be graphically killed by a machete wielding killer.

Luckily for us, the police were kind enough to cut all this footage into Atrocious, an 80 minute horror film. While it was awesome of them to do that for us, it would have been nice if they had left out some of the more boring teenage antics from the early film. The first half hour of the film drags because viewers, on the whole, don't want to watch teenagers pack the car and go on a road trip, argue with their siblings, talk back to their parents, complete chores and generally dick around. I've got YouTube at my finger tips if I wanted that.

This doesn't seem like a bad idea to you?

The real meat of the film takes place in the adjacent hedge labyrinth. It is a very interesting local, which is good because the bulk of our footage is shot there. There is a local legend of a woman in a red dress who helps lost travelers in the maze after nightfall, but c'mon folks, this is very much the wrong genre for kindly spirits. This time spent in the overgrown labyrinth is fairly divisive, as the first person camera work includes lots of running and turning in circles to look at hedges and paths that all look the same. If found footage movies make you nauseas, this one's got to be the carnival ride puke-a-thon of them. If that doesn't bother you, though, it's a great tension builder as you, along with the characters, are completely lost in the hedge maze.

The climactic 10 minutes are frenetic and the conclusion is really satisfying. In this respect, the pay off makes Arocious' premise work and is genuinely scary. If you're a huge found footage fan, this is a better than average entry in the genre with a great ending and is worth checking out. Atrocious is receiving a domestic DVD release on October 25th, just in time for your Halloween viewing pleasure.

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