I’m quite good at suspending my disbelief; trust me, when it comes to horror, I have a very limber set of standards in that department. And as much as I liked Atrocious, a found-footage frightener from Spain, I had some serious reservations believing that central characters July (Clara Morelada) and her brother Cristian (Cristian Valencia), would continue to schlep their camcorders around after figuring out that a fiendish killer is stalking them at their family’s rural retreat. “Oh my God, there’s a fiendish killer in the house with us! Do you have a spare battery pack?” Uh huh. It’s a shame too, because Atrocious has the makings of a crackerjack movie.

Teen siblings July and Cristian are spending their vacation with Mom (Chus Pereiro), Dad (Xavi Doz), and adorable kid brother Jose (Sergi Martin) at a Spanish country estate that comes equipped with its own massive hedge maze. The pair fancy themselves as intrepid ghost-hunting, mystery solvers so they bring along two video cameras, which is a stroke of luck for the cops when they discovery that everyone’s been killed about a week later. After sifting through 37 hours of footage, the final cut serves as the movie itself. If you surmised that there would be an abundance of chaotic night scenes frantically shot by the protagonists whilst lost in the hedge maze, give yourself a gold star.

There is some first-rate fright footage here. And the actors playing July and Cristian are very good, very natural. Atrocious is worth the time it takes to watch, but the surfeit of film (not to mention battery power) is a contrivance that each viewer will have to sort out for themselves. It doesn’t ruin the experience, but you may find yourself (as I did) shouting, “Oh come on, already!” at the screen on several occasions.

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