Scream Horror Magazine


Posted on: July 19th, 2015

2025 – The Shuttle Program has been privatised and the shuttle Atlantis is relegated to  a glorified taxi between space stations. Its crew is on a routine mission, conducting experiments – little do they know – they are the experiment.

Atlantis Down is an awful, awful film. It is so bad that I needed to say that word twice, but I am not even sure where to begin on how to describe how bad it is.

For starters, the acting was extremely mediocre and it got to a point where it became painful to watch. There were a few occasions where there were unintentional  ‘Laugh Out Loud’ moments. When Mary, (Darla Grese) had her mad moment in the woods, it just looked ridiculous. It was very unconvincing and very amateur. In another scene Travis (Travis Quentin Young) was becoming emotional and instead of looking like a tortured soul, he just pulled one great big baby face.

In saying that, I am left with the feeling that maybe the actors were faced with a lack of direction. In a group the interaction between the characters was poor and it seemed that they were all looking at each other for inspiration. The dialogue felt forced and were delivered with no emotion.

There were some shots whereby the camera focused on someone and they weren’t doing anything except looking completely gormless. Kera O’Bryon wins that award hands down. I also became extremely fed up of watching the crew walking aimlessly around the same wooded area over and over again.  I think I saw the same tree 3 times!

Now the surprising twist to this film was that Michael Rooker, star of The Walking Dead and Guardians of the Galaxy had a small part. Unfortunately you had to wait near to the end before he appeared, but it was worth it because he was the best thing in this film.

The CGI looked like it had been cobbled together by a prepubescent boy on his ZX Spectrum.  Words cannot describe how atrocious the rendering was, but it was clear that none of the budget was spent in this area. It is so bad that it is highly embarrassing. It would have been more convincing if the director had a toy space shuttle attached to a piece of wire and have someone dangle it in front of a black background.

My first assumption was that it was a really low budget film, which then led me to have the opinion that if you can’t afford good CGI then don’t bother because it will look rubbish. However, after some research on the Internet it would appear that Atlantis Down had the budget of $1,000,000! This is a phenomenal amount of money for an‘Indie’ movie and I have absolutely no idea where the director (Max Bartoli) had spent it!

Epic films such as Gareth Evans’ The Raid was made for just a little over 1 million and Adam Wingard’s You’re Next was also made for the same amount. There is a massive difference between the quality of Atlantis Down and the ones just mentioned. It would appear that Bartoli has far too much money and has absolutely no idea what to do with it. All the gear, no idea.

I would not recommend this film to anyone, unless of course you use it as a guide on how not to make a film. Atlantis Down? Should be Atlantis Down the Toilet, but keep flushing because you really don’t want it floating back to the top.

Words by Amanda Hunt @man_ders11

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