New Horror Releases: Atroz (Atrocious) (2016) - Reviewed

Presented by legendary Italian exploitation director Ruggero Deodato (Cannibal Holocaust), Atroz is the newest release from Unearthed Films and proclaims to be the most graphic and goriest film to have been made in Mexico. It definitely lives up to that assertion, joining the dark and gruesome likes of Cannibal Holocaust, Martyrs, A Serbian Film, Wolf Creek, Martyrs, and Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. If you liked and were able to stomach those, then you should enjoy this tale about a police investigation that takes place in Mexico after a woman is killed from being struck by a car. The chief detective discovers a video camera with footage from a brutal murder, which eventually leads to the discovery of even more tapes detailing this serial killer’s past crimes.

It essentially falls within the found footage subgenre of horror, with some traditional camerawork peppered in for the story. It could also be considered part of the torture porn subgenre, because of the large amount of grotesque violence and imagery that really pushes the limits of man’s depravity. This includes blood, gore, vomit, feces, mutilation and torture, nudity, sex, necrophilia, rape, and incest. While the brutality and extreme situations in this may only appear to be included so as to satiate fans of torture porn, I would suggest that they were somewhat necessary for the plot. These scenes were used to create a three dimensional characterization of the sociopathic individual in this picture, and explain how physical and psychological events from his teenage years shaped his desires lust for murder. 

I believe that the director was also trying to make a statement regarding the large amount of unsolved murders that occur in Mexico, as well as rampant police corruption and their terrorist style questioning procedures. It was noted at the beginning of the movie that almost 98% of murders in Mexico go unsolved, a statistic that was reported in 2013 by Mexico’s central statistics bureau (INEGI). Much like some of the previous movies listed, this one serves as a telling alarm to the dangers for people within that country.

You need a nail trim. Let me fix it for you. 

It is a low budget feature, so the largest element is the use of found footage. So there is a large amount of shaky camera movements that are common within the subgenre. If you’re not a fan of these, then you should probably stay away from this. The video footage was reminiscent of some of the scenes from Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, and I liked how the sound and video would cut in and out at times to replicate damage to the tapes. While similar in various ways to the motion pictures that have already been listed, this one is not as well crafted and acted as the others. This is mainly a symptom of the budgetary restraints, which was estimated at around $7,000 on IMDB.

If you like anything that was described above and can avoid vomiting, then you should check this out. 

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Raul Vantassle