Friends often ask me to recommend indie horror films on Netflix Instant. (American Netflix, sorry!) Now I can just send…
There are fates worse than death.
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 is absolutely brilliant, I don't throw that word around lightly either. This isn't one of those films where I had to look past a few flaws to enjoy it. Absentia was an experience I won't forget; taking me from the extreme depths of fear to tears streaming down my cheeks in sympathy.
People often complain about kickstarter films but this just goes to show the importance of a well-written story and the dismissal of audience expectations, where artist integrity reigns supreme. Sure, there was a budget of $70,000 but Absentia didn't need a large budget to convey the atmosphere it provided and with that we keep the filmmaker's vision in tact, no interference with producers or production companies who…
There is the kernel of a great horror film buried within Absentia but in its finished form I found Mike Flanagan’s Kickstarter-funded movie a frustrating experience. To its credit it does have a refreshing premise and as a film it is not easy to pin down (it’s part suburban supernatural horror and part psychological thriller) but the overall results are rather disappointing, particularly in its handling of its more horrific elements.
Mike Flanagan (director of the well received Oculus) has created an ambiguous chiller steeped in suburban isolation and folklore. A pregnant woman is visited by her wayward sister as she is about to sign the in absentia death papers for her husband who mysteriously disappeared seven years ago. However,…
What a fantastic surprise.
Right from the start this movie had me hooked by featuring a cast of actors that simply seemed to be normal people. It is hard to sympathize or identify with the usual dumb-as-bricks bimbos populating your run-of-the-mill slasher flicks, but these guys had me invested right from the start. Add a very intriguing story line, an emphasis on atmosphere and a foreboding sense of dread and danger that Lovecraft and Barker would be proud of and you have yourself one hell of a creepfest.
Just don't let the cover art fool you: This has a lot to offer if you are into a more classic kind of horror and are sick of the ever repeating cycle of slasher mass production.
This film has many problems, of which the biggest lie within the narrative, but I was still rather enamored by it.
I think it has mainly to do with the fact that it focusses on atmosheric horror instead of trying for the cheap scares. And considering the small budget they had they admirably manage to evoke a sense of unease and some genuinely frightening imagery.
There is, unfortunately, far too much static in the narrative to keep the momentum going. We do get characters we care about, which is a nice change.
All in all, a worthy entry in the horror genre.
"Absentia" is an independent horror film whose micro-budget veneer may scare away some audiences. For those willing to penetrate that veneer, however, the film is a gem. Slowly engrossing, "Absentia" is more about subtle scares and trying to peer into the darkness than visceral frights and gore. It is a rich and thematically layered, unpolished find that deserves an audience.
Almost fatally low budget and rough around the edges, it's saved on the merit of Mike Flanagan being a Goddamn good director. And clearly not afraid of dark endings. Oculus showed what he could do with a higher budget. I can't wait to see what he does with an even higher one.
Just wanted to say that the poster for this film is incredibly misleading, making it look like one of those extreme, violence-heavy horror flicks that tend to (with the occasional exception) give the genre a bad name nowadays. It is not that at all. Rather, it's a surprising, scary little low-budget film that begins as something of a meditation on grief, as Tricia prepares to declare her missing husband dead after seven years. Helping her through this is her sister Callie, a recovering drug addict.
The dynamic between the two is wonderful. Between this and "Oculus", writer-director Mike Flanagan clearly has a gift for crafting compelling relationships between siblings. Even without the effective jolts the film provides, it would work…
Bra skräckfilm som långsamt bygger upp stämningen och med flera helt oväntade vändningar håller en på tårna.
I liked that it was different and really creepy.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
I watched this as part of our monthly "lady horror eat food drink wine gossip watch stuff" schtick. I think this environment makes me a bit hard on films as the moment something slips the piss-taking begins and doesn't really stop.
Things I liked:
- novel, well structured story that draws from folklore and urban legends in a meaningful way
- normal looking people
- the empathetic presentation of Tricia
- this is a film with a pregnant lady that is never about the pregnancy
- relied on tone, sound and a few understated VFX pieces to sell its dread
- an LA story that isn't an LA story
- a few creepy bits, including one with a munched up…
Low budget independent production, inexpensive and mainly practical effects. Perhaps a little slow-moving in places, but that mainly gives a sense of dread a chance to steep properly. Those who equate horror with buckets of blood are apt to be disappointed, but those who prefer a less visceral approach to the genre should be very happy with it.
Genuinely inventive and novel horror film. It has its flaws but worth watching for the stuff that is new.
A woman’s husband disappears, did he meet foul play by the hands of a human or is something supernatural at work.
I really enjoyed Mike Flanagan's Oculus. This earlier film also works really well. Funded by Kickstarter it highlights the director’s ability to put together a film on a small budget. Though clearly budget does hold the film back some. It doesn't quite fully pass the looks test. The actors are very decent or just passable. The few ghostly effects don’t look that great.
Where This film really works is that it gets some things right that a lot of horror fails at. We are not spoon fed exactly what is happening the whole time, many films like this give…
Maybe even better than Oculus? In addition to being one of the most exciting horror directors today, Mike Flanagan is a real-ass filmmaker. He makes movies about real characters.
I'm on board for whatever he does next. B+
I don't really know what I just saw. It seems like this film had some pretty huge problems, but I found myself enjoying it anyhow. People didn't seem to react to things properly at any point. The music was far too loud, making it difficult to hear much of the dialogue. I had a difficult time suspending my disbelief, but not for the things you would expect, but more for just realistic inaccuracies like letting what can only be described as a walking corpse go home without spending a single night in the hospital after being missing for 7 years and horribly abused. I liked Cali...she was cute. I dunno...I guess I appreciate that this was a more atmospheric horror…
We're about half way through the Underrated Series and have finally reached one of the big genres. I'm expecting lots…
Contains every horror film made that is not lost and is found on the letterboxd database.
If there is any…