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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

DVD Review: ABSENTIA (2011)

  

  
ABSENTIA
Written & Directed by:   Mike Flanagan
Distributed by:  Phase 4 Films

 I had never heard of the film, ABSENTIA, before it arrived in my mailbox, so to be honest, I wasn't super excited or motivated to watch it.  There are so many horror films that come and go without much notice, and usually it is for a good reason.  You have to weed through a lot of bad films to find a good one, and I am happy to say this film is a "needle in the haystack" of horror films.  Everyone should know about this film and it is a shame that it hasn't received more fanfare.  
Here is the basic plot of the film from the Phase 4 Films website:
 
 Tricia's husband 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, she comes to the realization that his presumed death might be anything but 'natural.' Soon it becomes clear that the ghostly force at work in the tunnel might have set its sights on Callie and Tricia too.                            
 
 I loved everything about this film.   I would be lying if I said I understood it completely, but that is part of what makes me like it so much.  It is not a simple "I-saw-that-coming" type of horror film.  This is a smart horror film with a great story with many different levels.  What you think is basic supernatural type of film turns into almost a creature feature towards the end.  I wont say much more about that in fear of spoiling anything for you.
 
 On paper, I really shouldn't have liked this film so much.  There is no blood or gore to speak of (although there is a messed up looking body at one point), no special effects for the most part, and not  any slasher like killing.   Heck, there is not even the typical horror movie nudity thrown in to this film.  ABSENTIA is too smart for that and is above that.   What you do get is brilliant acting by everyone involved  (especially by the two female leads, played by Katie Parker and Courtney Bell).
 
 The film is very suspenseful and really plays to the dark and dreadful emotions of loosing a loved one.  Not just loosing a loved one, but the fear of a loved one going missing and having to declare them "dead in absentia" even though the slight chance is out there that he or she may still be alive.   That lack of closure would be a horrible feeling and Bell emotes this feeling with perfection in her portrayal of Tricia, who's husband went missing 7 years ago.
 
 Please do yourself a favor and check out ABSENTIA as soon as you can.  You will not be disappointed.  ABSENTIA was released on DVD on March 13, so should be available at a store near you, or order from the link below.   Special features on the DVD include:

*  ABSENTIA:  A Retrospective
*  Producer and Actor Commentary
*  Camera Test Teaser
*  Deleted Scenes
*  Trailer

 
CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the DVD
CLICK HERE to visit the film's official website

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