Did you watch the movie Buried? If you did, you probably remember what a harrowing ride it was. Well the screenwriter Chris Sparling came up with another (largely) single location screenplay. This one is called ATM.
The movie begins on David Hargrove (Brian Geraghty) who is going through an average work day. Except it also happens to be the day of the office Christmas party, as well as Emily Brandt’s (Alice Eve) last day at work. As his colleague Corey Thompson (Josh Peck) reminds him, this makes it David’s last chance to ask Emily out.
They leave the office party together and en route to Corey’s home he asks to stop at an ATM.
Once all three co-workers are inside the ATM vestibule the movie really gets underway. Because, just when they are ready to leave, they spot a shadowy man in a hooded parka just standing outside the ATM – watching them. His unmoving shadowy figure unnerves them and just as one of them is working up the nerve to step outside, a stranger arrives in the background–just a man walking his dog.
Long story short: the hooded man kills the dog walker and the trio in the ATM vestibule know that this guy is not just some homeless weirdo.
What follows is a tense account of what transpires as the three trapped people work out their escape strategy.
I’ll bet producers love Mr. Sparling. Because he develops these ‘high concept’ movie ideas that can be filmed for cheap. It is an added bonus that debutant director David Brooks is able to build some genuinely tense and suspenseful moments in this compact film.
Final Analysis: The movie isn’t without slack moments, but the good outweighs the bad. It is very interesting to see the number of hurdles the screenwriter is able to come up with, and the variety of ways in which he is able to screw with the three characters trapped inside the ATM vestibule.
My Advice: Rent it. For sure. This is totally the kind of fun night time movie that will make you nervous about something a lot of people use very often.