US, 2011, 85 minutes, Colour.
Brian Geraghty, Josh Peck, Alice Eve.
Directed by David Brooks.
ATM is certainly a film about an ATM. It takes place over one night.
The screenwriters had taken a basic idea of an ATM in an isolated car park near a shopping centre and speculated what would happen if three young people were trapped by a killer in the ATM. It asks the audience to identify with the three, the differing attitudes, the fears, their resourcefulness, the violence in their attempts to defend themselves, the consequences of fear, both national and irrational.
Brian Geraghty is the earnest young worker in a finance company with an eye on Alice Eve as Emily, who is about to transfer to another company. Josh Peck is a coworker, a braggart and irritating to the audience. It is he who persuades them to go out of the way after a party as well as to stop at the ATM. He is cowardly and is ultimately dispatched.
The villain wears a hood and generally is not seen except in the latter part of the film with eyes only. He menaces the three, kills a man walking his dog, kills a security guard and later sets him alight. In the meantime of man with a hood has come into the ATM and the three attack him, assuming that he is the killer. He is not, which raises issues of violence and the death of an innocent party.
Emily is accidentally injured and dies from a fall. This leaves David as the survivor but the circumstances seem to indicate that he is the killer. In the opening credits and the final credits there are lots of drawings of the area, the car park, the streets, the ATM and distances and measurements, seemingly from the killer who is left to do the same thing again.
1. An entertaining thriller? For younger audiences? For audiences the same age as the three protagonists?
2. The idea of the ATM, isolated, at night, a place to be trapped? Its isolation, the glass windows, the doors, the height, the vents for the water, the fire signal? Making the ATM eerie?
3. The setting, David and Corey at work, David and his upset client, Corey and his easy-going attitudes? Emily, attractive, leaving? David and his invitation? The going to the party? Leaving, Corey wanting to be dropped home? Wanting to stop the ATM? His later trying to say that he was in no way to blame? That the others could have said no, which they did?
4. Getting the money, seeing the man with the hood, apprehensive, staying inside, the locked door, the glass? Seeing him kill the man with the dog? Growing panic, uncertainty, trying to make decisions, the card and its code and its disappearance?
5. Writing ‘help’ with the lipstick? Security guard, his puzzle, his being killed, later put on the chair and set alight?
6. The anonymity of the man, fear of the unknown, putting the lock on the steering wheel, David trying to start the car, his being attacked, rushing back to the ATM?
7. The man with the hood coming in, the three attacking him, the vicious kicking and punching, David strangling him, seeing the killer outside, their reaction or non-reaction to what they had done?
8. Corey, becoming more anxious, going outside, the wire and his tripping, the attack, getting him back inside, his death?
9. The killer with the hose, the water, the attempts to set the fire alarm, finally succeeding, Emily and her falling, hitting her head, her death?
10. The police, dealing with the situation, suspicions on David, the crowd, the man with the hood watching, David taken away? His future?
11. The opening and closing with the maps, the drawings, the measurements? Sinister?
12. A satisfying thriller for younger audiences?