Monday, December 21, 2009
Movie Review-The Abandoned
Warning: minor spoilers.
For me, The Abandoned is an interesting movie. First of all, the main protagonists are middle-aged (Ha, take that teenagers! Now it's time for older people to get horribly murdered!). Another reason is the overall style of the movie. I wouldn't call this a breakthrough in the horror genre, but more thought is put into this than other movies...at times.
Marie, a forty-year-old woman who was abandoned as a child now finds that her parents are deceased (boo) but she owns a new house (yay!). Unfortunately for her it's a bit of a fixer-upper. While investigating this house, she runs into Nikolai, who claims to be her twin brother. They also run into their own dopplegangers, which signifies their own deaths are very near. Unfortunately, escaping the house might not be so easy...
So here are the good points-this movie does have some scenes which are genuinely terrifying. The set design of the house has been done effectively well and in more detail than other movies. I also have to admit that the idea of two newly-discovered siblings is rather interesting. Unfortunately this, like many other ideas, falls kind of flat.
We don't know nearly enough about Marie and Nikolai to care about them. Marie is a selfish woman whose only characteristic is fighting with her daughter, and I think Nikolai has a copy of the script stashed in his back pocket. Many times he knows exactly what is happening in the house, and the explanation behind it is vague at best.
Several plot ideas are created but then subsequently dropped. For example, there is a hallway in a basement which is horribly evil, but the two decide not to explore it, and it's never brought up again (huh, I guess that actually is a smart idea on the character's part...).
But it's towards the end of the movie that it really falls apart. In a lot of horror movies, there is an element of hopelessness. For example, a character might escape a haunted mansion only to get stabbed by the evil man with a chainsaw who mysteriously teleports from one end of the house to another. While this does create tension, it does get pretty annoying if you see it enough times. In this movie it's *cue dramatic music* time travel.
That's right, the ghost from The Abandoned has the ability to send you back to the past. He can also be tangible, teleport, hold a government position, turn into a naked women, and has his own radio station in his spare time (yes, I am completely serious here).
This is the most awesomest ghost ever.
Stars: 2 1/2 out of 5-this could have been a good movie if they tried harder and been more realistic.
Whatever did happen to Anitoly anyway? Don't one-dimensional characters have the right to their own gratuitous death scene?