29 March 2015 | quincytheodore
With intriguing concept and clever style, it almost overcomes the genre familiarities, but ultimately the production isn't adequate enough to fully convey the suspense.
It presents an interesting direction for possession subgenre with authentic documentary flair. The film portrayal of titular institution goes beyond average found footage gimmick, its understanding of the presentation makes it as though audience is watching real documentary from science channel. However, parts of the film aren't as consistently polished and these issues stutter the pace and occasionally derail the tension it has built.
Dr. Henry West (William Mapother) runs a small lab to research individuals said to have paranormal abilities. After a few failed endeavors, a woman named Judith Winstead (Rya Kihlstedt) is admitted to his lab. He and his colleagues have seen anything and anything like her, and the tests progress so sinisterly that eventually military is involved. Characters are pretty convincing at their roles, the use of exclusive camera footages without first hand interaction create credible effect.
The Atticus Institute offers several unnerving thrills, although the production has few technical flaws. Half of the movie is witnesses' interviews, which sets up more psychological and scientific approach. At its best the film delivers timely bizarre occurrences that are effectively chilling. However, it doesn't pay off every time. These interviews can be tedious and predictable, especially since their testimonies alone aren't sufficient to produce tension.
At midway point it feels that characters are overly narrating, especially since the scenes they mention are only partially captured. The film also describes events with clips and still images, they are short and some even look like slideshows. While this enhances its pseudo-documentary feel, its production is shabby. Furthermore, there are fumbles on editing as well as audio clarity. These issues could've been just minor hiccups, yet they are persistent enough to hamper the movie.
The Atticus Institute has intriguing concepts, its clever style almost overcomes the genre familiarities, but ultimately the production isn't adequate enough to fully convey the suspense.