Film Review: Atrocious (2010)

Who is Elvira?

We'll get to that in a little bit. First let's start with the premise of the film...shall we?

Directed by Fernando Barreda Luna, Atrocious follows the story of two young siblings, Cristian and July, as they are sent to their family vacation home in Sitges, Spain for the Easter holiday. They decide to film a documentary in search for an urban legend of a young girl in a red dress that went missing in the nearby woods in 1940. According the the legend, if someone gets themselves lost in the dark woods, the ghost of the young girl would show up and lead them out. This sets up the whole thing as the "found footage" Spanish cousin to The Blair Witch Project.

For the most part, Luna does a great job of setting up the tension for most of the film. However, it is pretty easy to lose interest in some of the scenes as it involves running around in circles in the woods that you're not supposed to go in...or video taping stuff making noise in the middle of the night. There's just too much focus on the pointless stuff in the film.

The actors who play the brother and sister are good for what they are asked to do. Cristian Valencia (Cristian) comes across a little annoying and pathetic at times and Clara Moraleda (July) is nice to look at. So, there's that. And Robin the dog is SO CUTE!

But, anyway....Atrocious. I almost feel like they called the film Atrocious once they heard about Insidious...just to sort of compete with the "ous" horror films of the year. But, unlike Insidious...Atrocious has something really cool going for it. Its twist ending.

You see...much like The Blair Witch Project, we are watching footage that was found at the scene of the murders of the Quintanilla family. So, we are already aware of the outcome...we just don't know what exactly happened to arrive at that particular conclusion. Now...I'm sure you're thinking that it had something to do with the ghost of the young girl in the red dress. Perhaps she led them straight to hell! Perhaps she possessed July and chased Cristian around the family vacation home in Sitges! Trust'll have plenty of time to sit and think about the entire thing while watching the film...because, of it seem to go on forfuckingever. So, it's around here where you look up and see a doggie in a well...and you think to yourself...The Ring! Well...interestingly enough, this is the point where the old Okie-Doke has been pulled on you. Because, the best part of the film is performed in a you-won't-see-it-coming kind of twist ending. I say the best part because, the rest of the film is pretty much the worst part.

I won't say anymore...because I don't wanna ruin the experience for you. I'll only say that if you feel like driving out to 7Eleven to grab yourself a refreshment while the main characters are running around in the goddamn woods...I'm sure you'll make it back in time for the finale...which is the best part...of Atrocious. Because, as I mentioned, the worst part is the main characters running around in the goddamn woods like a bunch of fucking pansies. I'm sure that if you edited out the running in the woods scenes...there would be like 20 minutes of movie left. Seriously.

But,'s not a bad film. I read a review from some idiot on IMDB proclaiming this film to be the worst film of all time. Well, it's not. The Happening is sort of the same deal (people running around in the goddamn woods for half the film). But, that film didn't have a a cool ending. In fact...that film didn't have a cool anything. At least Atrocious has several good reasons to stick around after all that running around in the goddamn woods.

So, if you don't get queasy while watching shaky found footage films. And you like your horror with different layers to it. And you don't mind reading subtitles (the film is in Spanish). And you don't mind watching alot of running around in wooded areas (seriously...bring along a sudoku puzzle). Well then, my lovely I have the film for you. Atrocious is a decent little low-budget foreign film that took some thought. It doesn't bring anything new to the horror game...but, it has a nice result with its only real flaw being the long journey getting to that result. Oh...and that fucking nail! Ouch! Didn't see that one coming!

2.5 out of 5

So...who is Elvira? Well, my dear lover of all things horrific and're gonna have to check out Atrocious yourself for that answer. In the meantime...

Thanks for reading,




  1. Well bryan,

    I have watched atrocious from beginning to end and still have no idea who elvira is! Perhaps u cud clear this up for me once and for all. Be much appreciated. Thks.

  2. At the end of the film...during the big reveal (I won't spoil it for other readers cause it's pretty much the best part of the movie) the antagonist is asked..."Who is Elvira?" It seems to be an alter-ego as she clearly suffers from some sort of schizophrenia. It's a moment in the film where if you aren't already are actually astonished at what us transpiring before your eyes. Cool stuff.


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