The Abandoned

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Remo D
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The Abandoned

Post by Remo D » Sun Feb 25, 2007 10:19 am

Hmmm... remember the "Eight Films to Die For" Horrorfest last year? I couldn't get to it, and even if I could have, I would have been expected to buy eight separate tickets for eight separate films on ONE weekend. Sorry--the festival looked great on paper but was completely impractical in reality.

But for those who did make it, was there some sort of ballot handed out? Was the real idea that the film that got the best response would then get its own theatrical release? That's the impression I'm getting from the ads for THE ABANDONED. And under the circumstances, I'm going to have to consider this a 2007 release even though I COULD have caught it last year.

I was quite familiar with the name of Nacho Cerda, but I also knew that no matter how "too extreme for theatrical release" hype existed around Horrorfest, there was no way he was going to get anything on the level of AFTERMATH into American theatres (and thank heaven for small favors). So, when faced with the likes of GHOST RIDER and THE NUMBER 23 as competition, it was quite an easy choice for me to make the trip to the local arthouse and check out THE ABANDONED instead.

Well, now I've seen THREE genre films I've been impressed with this year. And I saw them all at the same theatre. Oughta tell you something.

I had made a point of avoiding all pre-release articles--I just knew that this was a "haunted house" movie set in Russia. And believe me, the less you know, the better. It will suffice to say that the sort of setup that an M. Night Shyamalan would use as a vehicle to build up to a "surprise ending" wisely plays the "twist" card early. When rootless American filmmaker Maria Jones shows up at the ramshackle farmhouse she's inherited, she is quickly confronted by apparitions that prove uniquely difficult to combat.

In the meantime, Cerda (and hey! Richard Stanley co-wrote this! So when the hell does he get to make another film of his OWN?), while steering clear of a non-stop, gratuitous gorefest, still means business. AFTERMATH was a different kettle of (dead) fish, enough said. But as THE ABANDONED digs closer to the truth, there's plenty of visceral "cringe" material (do-it-yourself bullet removal included) to go with the equally effective psychological material. And when you see what transpires by the climax, you'll realize that what COULD happen is every bit as disturbing as what DOES happen.

Funny how few of the best horror films made in 2006 actually came OUT that year. But snag this one on the big screen while you have the chance.
My dog's breath smells like peanut butter...

...and I don't even have a dog!

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Latte Thunder
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Post by Latte Thunder » Sun Feb 25, 2007 12:48 pm

I fully intend to see this one. I didn't expect it to get an American release when I read about it last year so imagine my shock when I started seeing ads on TV for a movie directed by Nacho Cerda.

It's good news that it holds up. The ads sell it like any other Japanese inspired horror movie of late, but I knew it would be better than that.
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Griff [Mola]
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Post by Griff [Mola] » Wed Jun 13, 2007 5:40 pm

Saw it. Dug it. Let's hope Nacho continues to make feature films.

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Chris Slack
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Post by Chris Slack » Sat Jun 16, 2007 5:49 pm

'Griff [Mola wrote:]Saw it. Dug it. Let's hope Nacho continues to make feature films.
Seconded. I just wish I was able to catch it during it's brief theatrical screening.
"Regrettable... I was hoping for a colleague, but at least we have
another experimental subject..." -Mesa of Lost Women

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