Hey there, horror fans! Welcome to this edition of Underrated Horror Movie of the Month. There are some incredible hidden gems in the vast world of the horror genre. Twice a month, on the second and fourth Fridays, I come here to discuss a film that I feel is underrated and underloved. These pieces of media can be from any decade, subgenre or location. In this edition, I bring you the 2012 Josh Peck-led movie ATM. Stick around to find out why I think this one deserves more love.
After a party, three co-workers decide to carpool. When one believes they should grab dinner, they stop at an isolated ATM vestibule. Before the trio can leave, an unknown man appears, and they become trapped inside the vestibule, unable to escape. They must fight to survive and figure out how to get away.
This movie stars Josh Peck, Alice Eve, Brian Geraghty, Mike O’Brian, Robert Huculak, Ernesto Griffith and Bryan Terrell Clark. David Brooks directed the film, and Chris Sparling wrote the script. The runtime is 90 minutes.
ATM has a Tomatometer Score of 12 percent and an Audience Score of 27 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Its IMDb Score is 4.7/10.
This film has an enormous amount of bad reviews. After searching through a few pages, I felt the need to quietly rock in a corner for a while just from how nastily some of them are written. I completely understand not liking a movie, and critiquing said media; I do so frequently. However, the vitriol I noted for ATM was disheartening, to say the least.
Despite the overwhelming hate, there seemed only to be two complaints. On one hand, many viewers saw too many plot holes and were left unsatisfied. The other popular opinion believes the characters were “too unbelievable.” I want to address the second note first.
I see the characters in the opposite light as the reviews I read. Many of their actions were too on the nose for some individuals. When you spend an exorbitant amount of time with the public, you quickly learn how differently some people react to the same situation. While one person or group may have the know-how to evade the assailant easily, another will respond like these three.
Others will have completely different reactions to these options. While some human behavior is easily predicted across the species, many variables remain. Just because I would handle a situation one way does not mean everyone else would do the same way. I have met people I believe would do some of the same things these characters did.
A prime example of a real-world situation relating to this fictitious one involves parking. One review said it was ridiculous that they did not park right in front of the ATM, instead opting to park about 50 feet away. Numerous conversations and social media posts in my small circle have found more than one person noting they never park too close. There are multiple reasons for this, such as exercise, avoiding other cars that may come into the lot seeking a close space, lighting is better further away, etc.
As to the plot holes, yes, there are some, a few glaring ones. This part comes down to preferences. To me, the plot holes were not bad enough that they took me out of the story or messed with the overall experience. A few of the things that could be seen as issues in the writing could be due to the idea that real people would not act the way the characters did, but this goes back to my first point.
I can’t say that ATM is the perfect movie, but it does have excellent suspense, a fantastic cast and a creepy atmosphere. If you have not seen this one yet, it is streaming on Tubi. If you have watched it, what do you think? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time, horror fans, stay spooky and watch more scary movies. Before you go, take a look at the ATM trailer below.