Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Scarefest 2012 - Absentia

Since we're quickly approaching Halloween let's start a new series so I have something to write about rather than my current lack of lifestyle.

Every now and then I'll review some scary movies I've seen recently.  

Today's movie:  Absentia (2011) watched on Netflix streaming.

Starring:  Nobody you've ever heard of

Plot:  A woman coming to terms with her husband's seven year disappearance begins experiencing guilt hallucinations after having him declared dead.  Her (poorly) recovering drug addict of a sister arrives for moral support and they both "stumble on the truth" (say in scary narrator voice). 

Gore Factor:  Minimal.  There is a shot of a crumbled body, but it's not terrible.

Nude Factor:  Non existent although I kept hoping the sister would have a shower scene.

Scare Factor:  Pretty high.  The first two thirds of this movie amp up the suspense very effectively.  It takes talent to create tension out of a scene of a woman brushing her teeth. 

Review:  Considering how low budget this is, the movie was quite effective and super scary in parts.  The initial setup for a mind boggling plot turn (seriously, this moment in the movie floored me due to the entire counselling conversations I mistook to be filler) displays some serious film making chops for the people behind this film.

The performances were better than expected and the creep factor leading up to the climactic explanation was highly effective.

However (could you sense the 'However' coming?) there are times when scary, supernatural happenings in movies like this don't need explanation.  The minute you start explaining what is going on, the more ridiculous it sounds.  I won't give anything away, but if the sister's theory was correct (and of course it is) the simple resolution was to simply move away from that neighborhood.  Do they do that?  Of course not.  That would be smart and rational.

Bottom Line:  Recommended with the caveat that when it's revealed what's going on you'll be less scared and more angry at the film makers for trying to make sense of things.  It would have been much freakier if there was no explanation. 

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