Hollie Horror’s review published on Letterboxd :
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..
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 want more of the cheap thrills, whether superficial nudity or dumbed down plots to get the most bang for their buck. The low budget also worked in the advantage of casting seemingly "real" people, probably wearing clothes from their own closet giving the movie a boost in the believability which, in turn, makes it easier to achieve emotional investment from the audience.
H.P. Lovecraft had a way with describing things in written form which made your skin crawl and the Lovecraftian feel was all over Absentia. Never getting a clear look at what we're supposed to be afraid of worked because it was described just enough to let our imagination run wild. What one person imagines may look completely different than what the person sitting next to you is envisioning but the common denominator is that it is scary as hell. Not only is there a Lovecraftian-vibe, I am noticing comparisons to John Carpenter, while I don't see the similarities in the film's score, I see the similarities in Halloween being a budgeted film but being relatable because the characters seemed real and the location wasn't artificial (besides the leaves thrown around JLC to make southern California have the seasonal aesthetics, of course).
I watched this in a dark corner of the apartment, curled up in a recliner, on my laptop (Netflix) with earbuds and I will be the first to admit, I screamed a few times and got so scared at one point I had to pause the movie and ask myself "do I really want to watch this alone?" I hope this doesn't cause anyone to go in with expectations but it's the truth.
I went in knowing very little and came out on the other side completely enamored. I am sure I will still be thinking about Absentia for days, if not weeks, months or years to come.