The Atoning 2017
1h 29min | Drama, Horror, Thriller | 5 September 2017 (USA)
Vera, Ray, and Sam, a seemingly normal family, are haunted by more than mere ghosts. The lingering horror of their past threatens their ability to function as a loving family until they become enlightened by a mystical encounter. From that moment on, they’re thrust into a horror worse than anything they’ve ever experienced. Personal demons manifest and tear the family apart from the inside out as they come to terms with their past.
For everything this movie does right, it also fails miserably at almost double the rate. For example, the cast was largely comprised of competent and often exemplary actors, including the lead actress and the child. Really superb performances. Then we have the father who is dull and monotone,two dimensional, and can’t express emotion to save his life. The worst of the acting comes from the person who played the Psychic. She was such a damn ham, she literally ruined the second half of the film for me. This person obviously rarely acts, and believes that by being the worst stereotype of a psychic she could possibly muster, she might steal the show. News flash; you ruined every scene you were in with your limited and inane “performance”.
The movie takes FOREVER to get going, and when it does, you see it coming from a mile away. Everything in this film has been done before, and more competently, but some of the creepier elements were handled with great consideration. The “antagonists” were just people dressed in black cat suits, and the cheapness of the production really brought down its value. There are no real SFX to be found, everything is practical, but the worst kind of practical. Think “community theater” levels of amateur. It really ruined what was supposed to be the single best part of the film.
Lastly, while the script was serviceable, the story was so limited and sophomoric, it was like watching a Lifetime film (wait, IS THIS A LIFETIME FILM?). The “twist” is cliché, the verbal exchanges made me hate the characters and the final act whimpered like an animal you need to put out of its misery. This movie is the type of production you make with the absolute lowest budget possible, and while it may work for more talented individuals, the people responsible for this film just don’t have those skills at there disposal.
Overall, this film got a few things right, especially in regards to the casting. But everything else just falls short of even the most bare bones horror film. I advise the people who made thing movie to secure additional funding for their next project, and to inject a less “school project” aesthetic to the SFX and the cinematography. It really elevates the level of the production when you are considerate about the visuals of said film. Avoid this movie, but keep your eye on anything else these people might make.
Director: Michael Williams
Writer: Michael Williams
Stars: Virginia Newcomb, Michael LaCour, Cannon Bosarge
Release Date: 5 September 2017 (USA)
Filming Locations: West Point, Mississippi, USA