Written by: Michael Den Boer on September 19th, 2011
Theatrical Release Date: Spain / Mexico, 2010
Director: Fernando Barreda Luna
Writer: Fernando Barreda Luna
Cast: Cristian Valencia, Clara Moraleda, Chus Pereiro, Sergi Martin, Xavi Doz, Jose Masegosa
DVD released: September 19th, 2011
Approximate running time: 71 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: 15 (UK)
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Spanish, Dolby Digital Stereo Spanish
Subtitles: English (Burnt-In)
DVD Release: Revolver Entertainment
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL (UK)
Retail Price: £12.99
Though, The Blair Witch Project is often considered the forerunner for what is now referred to as the ‘Found Footage’ film genre, it was not the film to exploit this type of storytelling. With some of the more prominent films from this genre that predate the release of The Blair Witch Project being Cannibal Holocaust and Man Bites Dog. And while there have not been a shortage of these type of films since the box office success of The Blair Witch Project, the genre would see a resurgence in the latter half of 2000’s, when films like Cloverfield and Paranormal Activity would prove to be box office windfalls.
At the heart of Atrocious is a story about a pair of siblings, who’s interest in Urban legends has them going to their families summer home, which also happens to be situated next to a forest where a young girl disappeared several decades before. To help them document their findings, these two siblings each carry a camera that records their investigations.
Narrative wise, the film can be broken down into two half’s. With the first half being more about the characters and their back-story’s, while the second half is all about these characters demise and the thing that is responsible for all the carnage that unfolds in this half of the film.
Content wise, Atrocious is best viewed as a visual experience and not a straight forward Horror film. And while there some effort put into establishing who everyone is and their motivations are? The real star of this show are its visuals, which do a superb job setting up the right amount of atmosphere. Ultimately despite treading familiar ground, Atrocious is well paced ‘Found Footage’ film that saves its most memorable moment for its finale.
Revolver Entertainment presents Atrocious in a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. Considering the limitations of the source materials, lots of hand held camera that often lacks any stability and the fact that this film has a very deliberate look, the footage that makes up this film is meant to look as though it has been shot by the characters in this film and has been discovered after the events which unfold in this film. With that being said don’t expecting crisp cinematography, since the lighting appears to be not much more than natural lighting and since a lot of the film takes place during night time / darker moments, it should not come as surprise that the black levels look very weak.
This release comes with two audio options, a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in Spanish and a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in Spanish. Comparing these two audio mixes, the differences are minimal and just like the aforementioned limitations of the transfer, the audio does not come out unscathed. The audio keeps in line with the documentary feel of the film, with background noise vary in degree throughout. Dialog does come through clearly and burnt in English subtitles have also been included with this release.
Extras for this release are limited to a ‘behind the scene’ segment (14 minute 14 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Spanish with English subtitles), that includes comments from writer / director Fernando Barreda Luna, actor Cristian Valencia, actress Clara Moraleda and a wealth of onset footage. The bulk of this ‘behind the scenes’ segment is dominated by Fernando Barreda Luna, who discusses how he achieved various visuals effects used in this film and directing the cast. Overall Atrocious gets a well rounded DVD release from Revolver Entertainment.
For more information about Atrocious go here.