FrightFest 2011 Review: Atrocious

Spanish cheapie Atrocious starts out in very clichéd fashion. Yes, it’s another hand-held video camera/home movie horror that investigates strange noises, discovers broken kitchenware and disappeared pets. We’ve seen many a ghost story like this before.

Basically a family unit head out to the sticks, staying at an old mansion where siblings Cristian and July spend much of their time exploring the grounds with their cameras and discussing the local folklore. The ghost story fable itself told a couple of times in the early section of the film is certainly good enough to get the viewer on their toes awaiting for what may lurk in the next reel, but ultimately you have to sit through a lot of wobble-cam movement as the characters tread from one set up to the next.

Sadly it is also full of the above mentioned clichés in these early sequences, with very little going towards character or tension. Thankfully the final 30 minutes picks things up (and it’s only around the 70 minute mark in total) with a prolonged sequence set in a wooded maze at night when the two follow their mother into the maze in search of their youngest sibling who has gone missing. From here it manages to hold tension as the characters are split up and are attacked by an unseen force. The film also offers a twist at the end which keeps the films denouement all the more exciting.

Atrocious is Screening at FrightFest on Sat 27th August at 1pm and Monday 29th Aug at 3.45pm.

Steven Hurst

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