The mind is like a labyrinth in which anyone can get lost.

Written and directed by Fernando Barreda Luna

Reviewed by Deep Red

This is a Spanish/Mexican found-footage film, filmed in Spain, that I really like, more than The Blair Witch Project (1999) actually which I am a big fan of.  I think this was very likely influenced by The Blair Witch Project to some degree but even so, I just think it tops it slightly, and I think the story is original and deserves credit for that. The Blair Witch Project is a seminal film and opened up a pretty big gateway of possibility for other filmmakers to walk through. Atrocious seems to divide reviewers from what I’ve seen and doesn’t score very highly either which I found pretty surprising myself. Some people don’t like found-footage films, I do and I think Atrocious is one of the best films of that genre, in my opinión.

Well, the film stars Clara Moraleda as July and Cristian Valencia as Cristian, two teenagers, sister and brother, who go to spend their Easter Holidays with their father, Santiago (Xavi Doz), mother, Debora (Chus Pereiro), their younger brother José (Sergi Martin) and dog, Robin, at their family’s country house in Sitges. They have a web show in which they investigate urban legends. While there, they intend to investigate the story of Melinda, a girl in a red dress, lost in the Garraf woods in 1940, who appears to people who get lost there at night and shows them the way. They film everything as they go.

Very nice locations including a cool maze make for some nice cinematography. One criticism I read said there’s a lot of wandering round with nothing happening, I disagree, it’s what you’d do really if you had cameras and it adds to the realism. And this film does come across as real footage, which it’s supposed to; the acting too is subtle enough to help create that realism, very nice acting.

As the story unfolds, well, it’s gripping stuff, the tension builds and builds. The interior of the house itself is pretty stark and it’s used as well as the outdoor locations. It’s an involving film and certain key scenes ensure that the plot never wanes. I don’t want to give anything away in plot terms, I hate spoilers and try to avoid them as much as possible.

What I can say, is that the film always feels like it’s heading somewhere, and it is, and there’s no disappointment when you get there, I really love the conclusion of this one. I think as a whole Atrocious is pretty underrated. Very, very impressive film.

Also stars José Masegosa as Carlos and Sammy Gad as David.