18th Apr2019

Terrible Terror: ‘Atrocious’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Welcome to a brand-new series here on Nerdly, Terrible Terror, in which we highlight some of, what we think, are the WORST horror movies to have ever burnt my retina with their atrociousness. Speaking of atrocious, here’s my review of that eponymous horror – which not only made it to UK DVD back in the day but also – somehow – screened at Frightfest London in 2011!

atrocious-poster

Stars: Cristian Valencia, Clara Moraleda, Chus Pereiro | Written and Directed by Fernando Barredo Luna

The feature film debut of writer/director Fernando Barredo Luna, Atrocious is the latest in the long-line of horror movies originating from Europe, in fact this one, like its more famous compatriot [REC], comes from from Spain and one can’t help but compare the two – a little unfair perhaps, but given the films’ clear similarities it seems inevitable.

The premise is simple: it’s early 2010 and the Quintanilla family travel to an old rural family farmhouse near Sitges (itself famous for its horror film festival ironically), for the the Easter holidays. To pass the time, teenage siblings Christian and July set about investigating the local urban legend of “The Girl Of Garraf Woods”, relating to a series of hauntings and ghostly goings-on in a wooded labyrinth in a gated property near to their house. Of course being a found-footage movie, the pair decided to document their day-to-day adventures and their findings on video. Atrocious purportedly presents the “highlights” from the 37 hours of footage shot by the family that were found by the police after they investigated the families disappearance, including just how the Quintanilla’s died…

From the outset Atrocious commits the ultimate sin – it’s tedious. Literally nothing happens for over half of the films brief 70 minute running time bar the two teenagers wandering round a garden labyrinth and arguing. That’s it. Sadly by the time the action does kick in at around the 45 minute mark, the movie makes the same mistakes as a million other Blair Witch rip-offs, in that there’s simply way too much running around at night and all we see it blurry green-tinged night vision footage accompanied by excessive amounts of screaming.

I have to admit, the found-footage genre is definitely not one of my favourites – I prefer more story to my movie, but there are those out there that eat these types of films up, you only have to look at the success of the Paranormal Activity movies to see that. And whilst [REC] and its sequel used the video camera premise to enhance their story, Atrocious presents the footage IN PLACE of a story… Sorry folks but despite an interesting final reveal this one does live up to its moniker.

Avoid.

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