Here’s the newest post in A Timely Blogathon, co-hosted by myself and Movierob. This newest review comes from Zoë of The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger. Zoë’s blog is so great – with reviews on films, books, and more. Definitely check it out if you haven’t already! Meanwhile, onwards to Zoë’s review of Absentia (2011)!
“Don’t underestimate the attraction of oblivion… not ‘til you’ve lived a little longer.”
SYNOPSIS: A woman and her sister begin to link a mysterious tunnel to a series of disappearances, including that of her own husband. – via IMDB
So Anna and Rob have been hosting A Timely Blogathon, and it is quite a smart idea. I mean, everyone loves movies. We do, it’s as simple as that. A lot of people don’t like long movies though (I am not one of those), but every now and again you want a movie that is not going to take up too much time, a quick one. I usually like a movie to be a little longer; you get more meat to the story. However, every now and then a movie manages that in less than ninety minutes. Absentia, coming in at eighty seven minutes, is just such a film.
This movie is freaking excellent. It has everything I love about a horror film, and even more impressively, it is Mike Flanagan’s first film. Written and directed by him, and a tiny budget to boot. However, watching that, it is not evident. Why? Because this movie was put together simply but wonderfully. The story itself isn’t overly complicated, but it takes some time to set up and get into it, and that slow burn is totally worth it, because it increases the creep factor, and let me just tell you, for a budget movie it is so well done. Some people will see “slow burn” and discard this. Don’t. Not once does the movie drag. It takes its time to explain things, making sure everyone knows enough about the past and what is going on. Absentia is a beautiful movie that has so much in its favour. There was not one minute of boredom laced throughout this film at all. The pacing is perfect, too, and you will certainly have the heebie jeebies in more than one place here!
Another thing that just works for Absentia is the score. It never overpowered, it is always complementary to what is going on, and it is subtle. It just works! The acting, too, was actually pretty good here, and that is something a budget film usually suffers from. However, the cast managed this quite well. Also, Justin Gordon is quite the cutie in this. IMDB does not hold the greatest score for this, which I don’t get at all. This was one of the best laid out and chilling movies in this type of genre.
I was really a fan of not seeing the Big Bad (or more like not in its entirety), because I am more about atmosphere in a horror film than actually seeing the monster, and this was handles masterfully. The movie itself is shot stunningly, and it is incredibly atmospheric (as I have mentioned) – so eerie and chilling. Another story telling technique that I enjoyed in this was how the “theory” scenes were presented. The different scenarios, how they were laced throughout the movie and how you could tell they were distinctly separate from everything else that was happening – that’s really good. There was more going on that a simple horror.
Okay, it must be evident by now that I love this movie, and that I think it’s well worth a watch and has a lot going on for it. If you have not seen Absentia yet, watch it. If you already have, rewatch it. It is only eighty seven minutes long, after all!