I picked up this film on a whim. I am a sucker for great horror movie covers and The Atticus Institute has a rather lovely one, a short-haired woman staring out at you with a completely black eye, looking as though she had been through a few things plus some. I wasn’t too sure what the film was about, I hadn’t really come across everything on my IG feed or on the horror sites I frequent. Sure, I read the synopsis and the story sounded fine, but so did Muck. (We are not going to talk about Muck.) But as a horror fan, there is little that I will pass up and try at least once. So I bought Attitcus and prepared myself for a ride.
To be fair, I didn’t get to watch Atticus right away. I took it to my best friend’s house (who happens to love horror almost as much as I do) and he asked to watch it over the weekend. He’s usually good for a honest review, so I agreed. When I went back to visit, he told me that we would have to watch it together because…..it scared him too badly. Say what now? Now I have to see it if it freaked him out. In all honesty, I can truly say that this movie is brilliant. I was pleasantly freaked out and even jumped a few times. Bravo, best friend, you weren’t kidding when you said it scared you. I was not aware that Atticus was a found footage film and personally, I’m glad that I was not as I am growing a bit tired of the genre as many bad horror films in the sub-genre have been inundating the horror scene of late (V/H/S Viral and Demonic come to mind right off hand). Atticus has given me hope that the found footage film does not always have to be so lazy (Viral)or written so fast that the delusion is still maintained that it is a good film (Demonic). You won’t find any big names in Atticus, but it doesn’t need any. Chris Sparling, the director, has had some success before with Buried (2010) and not so much with ATM (2012), but I believe that he has made a huge accomplishment with Atticus. It was clever, it was intriguing, it gave you story without leaving you with so many questions at the end you just wondered why there was a movie in the first place. I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed the performance by Rya Kihlstedt who played the role of Judith Winstead, a young, mousy-looking woman who is brought to the Institute by her sister due to the extraordinary things that happen around Judith. I don’t want to give everything away in this post, but suffice it to say, that the Institute, who was looking for evidence of the paranormal, got much more that they bargained for when Judith came to stay. Sure, the military gets involved, but what’s a good paranormal activity story without a few military stick-in-the-muds here and there?
All in all, The Atticus Institute is a perfect paranormal story that delivers. It doesn’t hold back on the scares and doesn’t give you any cheap ones. It reels you from the beginning and refuses to let go. Is it a true story? Highly doubtful, but for those lovers of the supernatural, demonic or otherwise, this is one film to get into.