Horror Review – Absentia (2011) Review

Absentia (2011)Absentia (2011) Review

A woman and her sister begin to link a mysterious tunnel to a series of disappearances, including that of her own husband.

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.’ Tricia is reluctant, always holding out hope, but Callie is practical and wants her to move on. 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, it becomes clear that his presumed death might be anything but ‘natural.’ Soon it becomes clear that the ancient force at work in the tunnel might have set its sights on Callie and Tricia … and that Tricia’s husband might be suffering a fate far worse than death in its grasp.

Director: Mike Flanagan

Writer: Mike Flanagan

Katie Parker as Callie
Courtney Bell as Tricia
David Levine as Det. Mallory
Morgan Peter Brown as Daniel
Justin Gordon as Det. Lonergan
James Flanagan as Jamie Lambert
Scott Graham as Dr. Elliot
Doug Jones as Walter Lambert

Absentia focuses on, Tricia (Courtney Bell) declaring her husband, Daniel (Morgan Peter Brown), dead in absentia after being missing for seven years. He just up and disappeared. No letter, no phone call, no goodbyes… just gone.

Tricia is in a very high-stress situation. She is in the midst of filing papers for her missing husband’s death certificate, she is single and pregnant, the detective assigned to her case is in love with her and her estranged sister has shown up to live with her.

Speaking of her estranged sister, one thing that I will note that is Katie Parker, as Callie, is simply gorgeous and plays a really nice role. I am looking forward to future acting roles from her. Just from her simple facial gestures to her lines, she plays a great character.

From the outset, you will notice that the picture is clear and beautiful, and keep in mind that I am looking at a screener copy. In addition to the clean, crisp filming job, the movie is shot wonderfully. Camera angles are used effectively and not overused. The use of shadows is just done perfectly. So many shots stick with you after viewing the film. I can see this as being a film to revisit quite a few times.

The score of the film is used effectively as well. It is somewhat understated, but is still very effective in its use and does add to the film.

I know that I am definitely looking forward to anything else that director Mike Flanagan puts out after seeing the fine job done with this film.

Absentia (2011) ReviewAbsentia (2011) Review

  • Gillian

    I saw this movie at a festival and was bored to tears. Yes, the production value was high, but the story went nowhere, the acting was only passable and the dialogue was horrible. I agree the girl who played Callie was probably the best thing about it. Courtney Bell is dating the director, which I have to think is the only reason that she got the role, because she certainly can’t act! There was nothing ‘creepy’ about this film, and it just went all over the place and couldn’t decide what it wanted to be or what it wanted to focus on. FAIL.

  • I actually received the screener from the director. It is not out yet, but is slated for a 2011 release. They are just looking for proper distribution. I hope they get it soon.

  • JJ

    So when is this available? No hits on Amazon.

  • They sent me the screener and it took me a few days to get around to. I saw the review on your blog as well, so I was psyched to read it after watching the movie. I have another review written that I will post soon for another indie horror that was pretty good as well, but not as good as this one.

  • I’m so glad you saw and reviewed Absentia; I really dug this film. Was not expecting it to be anywhere near as professionally crafted and acted as it was. It turned out to be very creepy and effective expecially for its minimal bugdet and effects. This director has promise to turn out a modern classic in the future; he has a good eye for mood and atmosphere.

    Gave it to a friend to watch and they commented on it being a riff on the Three Billy Goats Gruff fairy tale which I totally did not catch at all – and all the bartering that goes along with it. Yeah, maybe, maybe not. But they do show the book briefly in the film. Who knows?

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