Atrocious (DVD Review)

It’s always a good day when the powers that be drop a huge basket of horror material for review. It’s especially a good day when some of the titles are in Spanish. Atrocious happens to be one of these films. It is written and directed by Fernando Barreda Luna and was shot in Spain with Spanish actors in eleven days. Before going on I will preface this review and say that Atrocious is another “reality-hand-held” type of film. If you’re okay with this then keep going, but if you’re not, then by all means…suck it up and keep going. C’mon!  




Atrocious tells the tale of the Quintanilla family as they venture out to their summer home out in the woods. The film centers around siblings Cristian (Cristian Valencia) and July Quintanilla (Clara Moradela) who run an “urban legend” website. They also do the investigations. What separates this urban legend from all the rest is that that the urban legend that they will investigate sits right on their property. Back in 1940 a young girl named Melinda who went missing in the hedge maze outside of the main property. It is said that Melinda or Melinda’s ghost haunts the grounds. This is what young Cristian and July will investigate. This is also all I will say about the main story, because as you will see, Atrocious is not a happy film and you already know what the fate of the family is within the first thirty seconds.

When reviewing movies, I’ve been spoiled. You watch countless films on Blu-ray that when a regular DVD come in it just acts as a turn off and you put them aside for later. Well, this being Halloween weekend, I’ll take anything I can get with regards to horror and I will fast track it. Also, selfishly, Atrocious happens to be a Spanish language horror film and I love my Spanish films, because I am fluent in Spanish. Subtitles? What pesky subtitles, I don’t need them! It’s just that much more captivating, in my opinion.

Atrocious is like the 100th film that deals with found footage, urban legends, ghosts, shaky-cam, etc. PLEASE do not let that keep you from seeing it! Atrocious is a taught little horror thriller that is creepy and scary and will throw you for a loop if you’re not careful. The film runs at a brisk 73 minutes, so there should be no complaints with regards to running time, because it will be over in a flash.

The young actors were great and their use of improvisation made for an even more believable film. I was riveted and honestly believed that they were always in danger. Ironically, you find this out at the beginning. The ending will mess you up, because you don’t see it coming, but when it hits, it hits HARD!

Much props go out to Bloody Disgusting Films and The Collective for bringing Atrocious (and many other films) to the masses. Sure, they may not be Blu-rays (yet), but here’s hoping that if enough people catch them on DVD or via iTunes, etc, they will hit the high def format.

For now, please check out Atrocious, you’ll have a great time with it – and no, it’s not just a clever name. 😉


Atrocious is presented in 480p (upconverted to 1080p if you have a HDTV & Blu-ray player), but considering it is one of these “found footage” films, it really doesn’t matter. It’s also presented in 2.35:1.  Flesh tones are as natural as can be, in fact, I know they’re wearing make-up, but the fact that they look like they aren’t, gives it that sense of authenticity. When darkness falls, that’s where the image tends to really sharpen up a bit. Contrast levels do run a bit hot, but that’s do to the nightvision feature on the camera. Banding is apparent here and there, but what do you expect, it’s a found footage film. I would really be curious to check out the Blu-ray, if it gets one. 


Atrocious is presented in Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (with optional English Dubbed 5.1 or English subtitles) and yes, this is a DVD reference track! I never thought I’d see the day where a DVD 5.1 track could be see so freakin’ awesome! I’ll be clear, the sound field is amazing, and so is the depth. The rear channels and subwoofer are beyond aggressive, but they are not scratchy or distorted. They will pummel you without being oppressive. There is some scary @$$ stuff up in here, yo! I can only imagine what the Blu-ray will eventually sound like. I hope the Blu-ray Gods hear my prayers, because if Atrocious ever got a lossless release it would be outrageous!

Special Features

Well, all good things have to come to an end, but they do end with some style. There’s a cool fifteen minute documentary on the making of Atrocious which shows the viewer what went into making a project like this. I’ll give you a taste. Atrocious was made in eleven days. Yeah, I couldn’t believe it either! That’s how it’s done!

  • English Dub Option (lame, watch it in Spanish with subtitles – you will crap yourself)
  • Making of Atrocious

Final Thoughts

If it weren’t for the lackluster extras, Atrocious would have gotten a higher score, but fear not, because as a stand alone horror film it succeeds where many have failed. It has a great story with an even greater twist that will mess you up! I’ve been telling my Why So Blu compatriots about this film for two days now, so we’ll see if they take heed and scope it out. For now, I want all of our readers to give it a chance and see what it’s all the fuss is about. Atrocious is one of the best horror films that I have seen this year.


Order Atrocious on DVD!


Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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