Director David Brooks embraced his inner thriller fan when he crafted his first film, ATM. The story follows three co-workers on a Friday evening as two are nurturing an office crush and hope to make it more by the end of the night. The third is a tag-along friend who needs a ride to a party. First things first, the third wheel needs some cash. So, the trio stops off at a stand-alone ATM where their night takes an unexpected and horrifying turn.
Alice Eve stars as Emily, Josh Peck is Corey, while Brian Geraghty is David and all three actors are more than up for the task. All Emily and David want to do is be alone, but a mysterious stranger who seems to have it out for them has ideas that are much more sinister as to what he would like the evening to include -- death for one… or all, of our three leads.
How all three wind up in the ATM booth is an interesting choice for Brooks, but once they are inside, our mysterious man appears and simply stands there staring at the trio. His willingness to kill is evident within moments as an unlucky individual meets his maker while the three friends gaze in fear.
Brooks reported being inspired by the Ryan Reynolds starrer Buried. What do people do when they are trapped and death is not an option they can accept? The only issue with ATM is that the film suffers under its own premise. Sure, the camera work (especially his use of the cash machine’s video surveillance cameras) is stellar. Yet, with nothing in place to give us, or his leads, clues as to how this has happened, we fail to see a way out that works. The fault here most likely lies in the script by Chris Sparling, who ironically also wrote Buried. In ATM, he may have taken the concept of people trapped, struggling for survival and jumped the shark.
Yet, with the acting efforts of its three leads, especially Eve (soon to be seen in Dark Shadows), ATM is quite watchable. It is a decent cat-and-mouse thriller, where the feline here carries a tire iron with lethal expertise.
The film opens April 6, and is also available on Video on Demand.