It’s no secret that we’re obsessed with horror films lately. We like to think of it as a kind of comfort food–predictable, yet delicious, with slight, usually innocuous variation built into the recipe. ATM, the newest “trapped in a box waiting to be slaughtered” flick of the season, has a pretty standard list of ingredients:
-An improbable scenario
-A faceless, motiveless killer in an Eskimo hood.
We say ‘improbable’, but not for the reasons one might think. It’s really not that improbable to be stalked to the middle of nowhere by a superhuman killer, nor is it improbable that an ATM machine should be located in an isolated parking lot, with seemingly no bank or even bodega connected to it. The main character’s reason for making a trip to the world’s most inconvenient ATM is to get cash for a date so that he can go out on the town with his female co-worker. What we find truly unbelievable, however, is that he would actually take her with him, knowing full well that to be seen by a prospective date in the harsh, fluorescent light of an ATM is to lose all hope of seeming attractive, and abandon any chance of getting laid. The second rule of dating is to avoid being killed–something I sense the heroes of ATM fail to manage. But the first rule–to avoid fluorescent light at all costs–is cardinal, and they’ve blatantly disregarded it.
In light of such disregard for basic dating etiquette, we can only assume that whatever bloody fate befalls the characters of ATM is richly deserved.