The Abandoned

"OK"

The Abandoned Review


What if I told you that two plus two equals three? You wouldn't believe me, because that's a lie. Two plus two equals four... not three. Meaning, when you add two and two of anything, you get four. Except with The Abandoned, the movie equivalent of a rookie algebra error.

That's a shame, because The Abandoned is the first genuinely scary movie of the year. The film knows how to make spines tingle and hearts pound. There are moments when characters are walking through dark, desolate hallways and grimy, web-infested bedrooms that contain enough tension to cut with a knife. But there isn't much cutting... the tension just builds and builds. And at the end of the equation, things just don't add up.

The Abandoned details the misfortunes of Marie (Anastasia Hille), a Russian born, British raised film producer currently living in America. When she hears of her birth parent's death, she leaves her teenage daughter at home in California to claim inherited property on an island in a remote forest of her birth land.

Back when Marie was a baby, her parents died suddenly and mysteriously. She's tried to uncover what happened to them, but found nothing. She returns to the property -- the house -- in which she was born, hoping to find answers. The house is empty and abandoned, as it has been for 40 years. No one has visited since her parents' death. Once Marie gets there, of course, she finds more than grimy wood and dusty glass. After a casual encounter with a waterlogged ghost of herself, she runs into a mysterious man who claims to be her twin brother. What a day!

The plot's really nothing more than a shell. Mostly, the characters wander around the creepy house and get chased by zombie ghosts all day and night. Beyond that, nothing really happens. And when the film finally starts to provide answers, they don't make much sense. With this much time and effort spent on building suspense and arousing suspicion, The Abandoned doesn't do much with the payoff. It just goes on and on, teasing and testing the audiences' patience. The beautiful cinematography and haunting vibe only carry the film so far though, and it doesn't take long before audiences will be yawning at the monotony.

Nacho Cerda's direction has strong personality and chilling atmosphere, but considering his previous, ballsier work (he's known for a short about morticians who rape corpses), there isn't much edge here. He does provide a few unforgettable chills at the end when wild boars feast on live flesh, but not nearly enough to make the buildup worthwhile. If The Abandoned's answers were as complex and rewarding as its questions and calculations, it could have been a truly terrifying movie.

I'd abandon him too.



The Abandoned

Facts and Figures

Run time: 99 mins

In Theaters: Friday 23rd February 2007

Box Office USA: $1.3M

Distributed by: Lionsgate Films/Afterdark Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 38%
Fresh: 13 Rotten: 21

IMDB: 5.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Nacho Cerda

Producer: Carlos Fernandez,

Starring: Anastasia Hille as Marie Jones, as Nicolai, Valentin Ganev as Andrei Misharin / Kolya Kaidavosky, Paraskeva Djukelova as Marie's Mother, Carlos Reig-Plaza as Anatoliy

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