Directed by David Brooks
Written by Chris Sparling
Warning: This review contains spoilers, but it doesn’t matter, because this movie sucks.
In ATM, a guy parks his car about a hundred yards from an ATM for no reason. I guess just to make his friend walk really far in the freezing cold. What an asshole. Then, a few minutes later, after a bunch of stupid devices have conveniently put all three of our main characters in a glass-enclosed ATM together, they’re afraid to exit because they see a guy 25 feet away wearing a coat. I’m not kidding. They live in New York City, yet they’re afraid of a guy, I guess, because he’s wearing a coat. It literally just looks like he’s waiting for them to leave so he can use the ATM. But then, to prove their illogical suspicions were actually correct, the coat guy suddenly murders a guy walking a dog. As it turns out, the coat guy is a weird murderer who stakes out people at ATMs.
I generally strive to deconstruct and explain what makes a movie work and what I like or don’t like about it. In the case of ATM, I have to blatantly say that it’s the stupidest movie I’ve ever seen. The devices used to get from point A to B (and the characters’ reactions to said devices) are completely fucking illogical.
ATM falls under the genre of ‘A Bunch of Dudes Stuck in a Room and They Don’t Know Why’. Examples of this genre include Devil, Saw, Cube, Exam, and Predators. The concept is fairly cool, because movies are supposed to take us places we could never possibly be, and no human being will ever wake up in a jumpsuit in a plain white room with four other people. But the buck stops there because it’s an inherently flawed genre.
The only point to watching any of these movies is to find out the answer to a single question: Why the fuck are they in this goddamn room? But the answer to this question is always stupid and unsatisfying (or in the case of ATM, so fucking stupid you won’t even believe it) because these movies are driven by a premise rather than by character arcs.
Climaxes and resolutions are only ever satisfying when a hero truly achieves a goal. This goal may be obvious and overblown (like Luke blowing up the death star) or internal and subtle (like Ray Kinsella reconnecting with his Dad.) Both work because these are three-dimensional characters going through a transformation.
The characters in ‘roomies’ (my nickname for these stuck-in-a-room movies) are all hollow, one-dimensional archetypes. They are impossible to care about, and spend most of the film sounding like a broken record, yelling variations of “why are we in this fucking room!?” Their only ‘transformation’ is that at the beginning, they don’t know why they are in the room, and at the end, they do know why. Assuming they live to the end.
If you’re in the mood to laugh at something that makes no sense and you can’t believe exists, watch ATM. And, if you can think of other terrible ‘roomies’, leave them in the comments. I’d love to see them all.
0 out of 1 stars.
7 thoughts on “ATM: The Worst Movie Ever to Come Out of the Worst Genre Ever (A Bunch of Dudes Stuck in a Room and They Don’t Know Why)”
I’ve never seen ATM, but I nevertheless wondered the following:
Would you say the film or is an example of a roomie? These films are certainly different than those you listed here because rather than a physical place, the room is a psychological place wherein only the main character resides. In these films, auxiliary characters participate in the fabrication of the main characters psychological room.
The purpose of this device is to evoke in the audience a feeling of alienation and dread.
Hey, I can’t see the movies you listed, something got screwy with the html. Sorry bout that.
To me a “roomie” is a sub genre of a sub genre. There’s a type of story coined by Blake Snyder (screenwriter) called “Monster in the House”. This applies to movies like Tremors, Jaws, Jurassic Park, Alien, Blair Witch, etc — movies where a group of people are in a contained space and being knocked off by a monster of some kind.
“Roomies” take it much more literally. Cube being the most literal where people wake up in a room and spend the whole movie figuring out why and how to get out.
I like a lot of Monster in the House movies because they often use tension to build the characters and keep you interested. The downfall of “roomies” though, as I said is they are too premise heavy, too clever, too reliant on their premise to do anything interesting.
But yeah, what were the movies you mentioned?
The films I was referring to are Momento and Shutter Island .
I’d say both of those are more just psychological thrillers. The theme of containment is certainly exercised in both but it’s internal. “Roomies”, and my attack on them, are much more literal.
Well, it’s just gone a quarter past midnight and the Movie finished at 12. I’m still reeling from the ridiculousness of this movie. What a joke! I just can’t stand a movie whereby the characters are so irritable I have to change the channel, I get physically irate and I start saying shit like, ‘oh fuck off, as if someone is that fucking stupid’ or ‘ RUN YOU F**KER!’ and of course, there’d be no movie if the captured had any sense. Oh and don’t even get me started at the silly bitch who couldn’t summon the strength to haul Mr StabbyTummy aka drake&Josh guy who used to be fat but lost a bunch of weight and now looks kinda hot, up onto the ledge. Arghhhhhhh! (obviously, if this was the intention of the directors to rile me to the point of internal conflict being- smash TV coz this shit sucks and now hulk angry -no don’t because it’s a flash one) Well then, fuck you very much, ya ploy worked but hey, ya movie still sucks. So, here I am, after typing into Google search bar – ATM movie sucks, and voila, this thread pops up. More people pissed at their subsequent loss of minutes they’ll never get back having wasted it on this crapfest of a movie. I have to agree with everything the initial reviewer has said, well played Greg, well played. This Movie SUCKED! more than the Green Lantern ala Ryan Reynolds and waaaay more than Street Fighter the non Asian cast, Asian movie…I know…WTF!? . I’m all for a great ‘roomie’ movie, but I think I prefer the triumphant kind, or something that leaves you wondering at the very least. What that says to my everything- must- end -with- Simba- ruling- the- pride typed movie ending prejudice I dunno, but who doesn’t like a good ending? and by good I mean, the good guy doesn’t always have to win, I just mean, in it’s most literal sense, a good fucking ending.
Sorry for my belated reply! This is the best comment anything I’ve ever written has gotten!