18-year-old Cristian (Cristian Valencia), his sister, July (Clara Moraleida), and 8-year-old brother, Jose (Sergi Martin), travel with their mother, Debora (Chus Pereira), and father, Santiago (Xavi Doz), to pay a visit to their old country house in Sitges. Of course, their family dog also joins them. Legend has it that girl named Melinda had gone missing years ago and now lurks as a ghost somewhere in the woods that surround the house. Cristian and July decide to videotape their attempts to search for the ghost of Melinda.
What does Melinda want from them? What might happen to them if their encounter her? Writer/director Fernando Barreda Luna seems less concerned with answering both questions until later on in the narrative; instead, he focuses more on trying to provide an eerie atmosphere as you observe the footage that Cristian and July recorded inside the house and out in the woods. The scenes in the woods at night, in particular, feel the most terrifying because the darkness leaves more for your imagination, a very powerful tool. You never know when something frightening will happen, but you do know that it will eventually. Sure, it would’ve been great had Luna given the characters more background so that they’d be memorable and worth caring about. However, in any horror movie, the real star is the horror itself. At least he doesn’t resort to blood ‘n guts and cheap shock value as a means of entertainment. By allowing you to rely more on your imagination, the stylishly-directed Atrocious becomes more palpably frightening as it progresses toward its intense finale.