Monday, May 15, 2017
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FANTASIA FILM FESTIVAL Review: ‘Atmo HorroX,’ A Bizarre and Psychedelic Nightmare

By: J. Carlos Menjivar

An attempt to concisely unpack, or even describe, Atmo HorroX would be an inexcusable exercise in redundancy that in no capacity of the written word would benefit this film. Atmo HorroX is a sensory experience, a sumptuously polychromatic psychedelic trip into the absurd and the nightmarish, one to be witnessed through careful and focused attention. Words could not possibly evoke the vision of writer and director Pat Tremblay’s odyssey into the bizarreness that is Atmo HorroX, a dizzying plunge into an absurd world comprised of your worse nightmares bound together by otherworldly oddities and draped in saturated color.

Atmo HorrorX PosterWe begin in a forest and a chase by some horrendous creature. Needless to say, it doesn’t end too well for the creature in a scene straight out of your typical horror movie, except, this film is not your typical fare, and where we’re taken thereon only grows stranger by the moment. On first impression Atmo HorroX appears to be a series of (nearly) silent vignettes that include a man with a headband, and what appears to be radio antennas attached to his head, desperately driving around scanning for something (or someone); another man (or thing) emits strange sounds from his mouth as he oogles over static on televisions; and lastly, a man (or thing, or creature, a something!?) with multiple phallic balloons jutting from where his genitals should be lurks around with an impressive vanishing act.

Atmo HorroX is a combination of Lynchian nightmares and off-the-wall absurdism that’s not for the faint of heart, nor for those who enjoy straightforward and clear cut narratives. This is an experimental exercise that forces the viewer to really pay attention to what is essentially a silent film, as the characters don’t speak, told through an audaciously bold visual language and aural collage. Filmmaker Pat Tremblay invites us to witness this avant-garde world and its machinations, forcing us to put together the many pieces so as to craft a cohesively cerebral whole from its many parts. An enigma to say the least, Atmo HorroX is a bizarre and psychedelic experience that is fun to put together and unlock.

Atmo HorroX had  it’s World Premiere at Revelation Perth International Film Festival and will be featured as part of Fantasia Film International Film Festival.

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