Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Abandoned

I loaned this movie to a friend before I had the chance to see it. The following week when he returns it, he tells my wife and I that it's a "weird independant film about two girls in France who get lost or something and try to find each other... oh, and there's a LOT of music." I ask him, "Oh, the horror movie? about the creepy abandoned woman?" He assures me it is not a horror or thriller movie, but some weird, foreign adaptation of Little Women but without audible dialogue.

I'm very confused at this point because I was certain it was supposed to be creepy and I knew it even had pictures of a woman with no pupils in her eyes on every DVD menu. Needless to say, I now wanted to watch the movie more than ever. Surely, something was lost in translation. It turns out that the movie was definitely a horror flick about a woman who returns to her roots only to be trapped in a cyclical Hell of past demons and morbid family secrets. If you're looking for cyclical Hell, and I mean, who isn't?, you'd be much better off renting What About Bob? or In the Mouth of Madness.

I did notice, however, that the first 10 minutes of the movie played an eerie soundtrack while it rolled the opening credits, and it turns out my friend gave up on the movie before even getting 15 minutes into it. His commentary about the lack of speaking and the abundance of music stemmed from a car drive down a desolate road while Russian lettering announced the film's actors and producers.

The movie far exceeded my expectations but still turned out to be nothing more than your above average boogey man bloodfest. I went in thinking I'd see a carefree tale of innocent youth traipsing through the French countryside to discover themselves, but I was left with pot-bellied pigs threatening to eat babies and zombies crawling out of lakes. Sounds like a good trade off, but I was disappointed.
  • OVERALL: 79
  • VISUAL: 84
  • STORY: 79
  • ACTING: 73
  • BETTER THAN: Dead Silence
  • NOT AS GOOD AS: Frozen
  • WAS MISSING: John Lithgow screaming "The cat's in the bag, and the bag's in the river!"
  • SEE IT FOR: Confirming the zombie guy looks exactly like the Pet Cemetary jogger