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#18. Absentia - Review

Absentia 2011 PosterThe plot for Absentia is a little involved, so I will allow director Mike Flanagan to explain: “Tricia's husband Daniel has been missing for seven years. Her younger sister Callie comes to live with her as the pressure mounts to finally declare him 'dead in absentia.' As Tricia sifts through the wreckage and tries to move on with her life, Callie finds herself drawn to an ominous tunnel near the house. As she begins to link it to other mysterious disappearances, it becomes clear that Daniel's presumed death might be anything but 'natural.' The ancient force at work in the tunnel might have set its sights on Callie and Tricia ... and Daniel might be suffering a fate far worse than death in its grasp.”

Absentia was one of my absolute favorite films of the festival, and a definite must see for fans of well done, low-budget horror films that bravely investigate subjects and ideas most directors wouldn’t dare. I can’t really talk about what I liked most without spoiling some pretty major sections of the film. I will say the women of the film are fantastic. Katie Parker and Courtney Bell do all of the heavy lifting and don’t even break a sweat. The story they are caught up in could have easily been lost in genre silliness, but both of these actresses do a superb job elevating Absentia above Sci-Fy channel filth. I wish I could say the same for their male support. Dave Levine as Detective Mallory is especially bad, consistently playing to laughable police officer tropes instead of finding a balance of fear, concern, and sincerity.

Thankfully this is Tricia and Callie’s show, and Absentia takes them into some pretty extraordinary situations. Director Flanagan knows his limitations and uses them to his advantage, employing darkness and interesting cinematography and camera design, giving Parker and Bell everything they need to motivate fantastic performances. Great Job.


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Reader Comments (2)

LOVED IT!! It was a great way to start off the Big Bear Horror-Fi Film Festival. Even though the screening was 4:30 in the afternoon, it was still very creepy. This movie stuck with me the whole weekend of the festival. I was really impressed with doing so much with so little. I will never go for a jog in a tunnel again.

October 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrynn Roberts

Ha! That means you have to jog! : )

October 21, 2011 | Registered CommenterBrandon Roberts

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