Hooded figure. Murder. Automated teller machine.
That introduction isn't a misprint. Rather, those terms are the plot keywords the Internet Movie Database, known as IMDB, used to describe a new Hollywood horror film with a one-word title: "ATM."
As might be expected, the film is indeed about a bank ATM. Or more specifically, it's about three co-workers who stopped by an ATM after midnight only to become trapped in the enclosed shelter and locked in a supposedly desperate fight for their lives with an unknown assailant.
The premise might be intriguing, at least to anyone who generally enjoys locked-room horror stories. But so far, early moviegoers and critics alike have been ... well, let's say "less than enthusiastic" in their online comments about the film.
One IMBD reviewer, self-identified as "stsinger," kindly called the movie a "mixed bag," praising the acting and ending, yet panning the opening, mocking an ill-timed romantic interlude and noting a fresh crop of the "usual horror movie head-scratchers."
Other reviewers, using stronger language, said the film was "predictable," "arrogant," "lame," "unrealistic," "unsatisfactory," "stupid," "boring," "ignorant" and worse. Two people even suggested that watching paint dry or counting dust particles would be more enjoyable and a better entertainment value.
Reviewers on RottenTomatoes, a movie-rating website, hadn't collected enough votes at the time of this writing to arrive at a consensus about "ATM," but the early returns were no more favorable than the IMBD reviews.
Professional critics were more circumspect and elegant in their comments, but to be clear, they didn't seem to like "ATM" much either.
Perhaps the most common criticisms were that the three main characters who became trapped in the ATM shelter had parked their car laughably far away from the ATM on a freezing and very dark night -- and that of course they'd all, equally unbelievably, left their cellphones in the car.
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