Absentia (2011)

Plot Overview

Seven years after her pregnant sister’s husband goes missing, Callie’s sister, Tricia, is declaring him dead and moving on with her life. After seeing some weird things in the tunnel just up the road, Callie begins to suspect the tunnel has something to do with his disappearance – and many others in the neighbourhood.

Review

It was a strange film. There was this weird atmosphere hovering throughout, and though it was clearly low budget, it managed to be genuinely creepy at times. I’m creeped out by tunnels in general, so it wasn’t too difficult to make the tunnel seem unpleasant. It was quite strange that the tunnel looked so completely average and yet still had an air of creepiness to it.

Some of the music in the film was quite overbearing, particularly in the second half. Other times it worked well. The ‘sort of shaky, but not actually shaky’ style of directing was surprisingly effective in giving it a natural eeriness. Showers/baths with curtains have given me the creeps since seeing The Shining as a child, so any scene involving them makes me tense up, but I liked that they didn’t use it as a jump scare moment. Actually, there were very few ‘jump scare’ moments; it earned the ‘scares’ through building up tension and atmosphere.

The acting and script were pretty bad. The script was very forced and awkward and the acting went along with it. It sort of balanced out as the characters, for the most part, felt like real people. Not sure if this was a kind of likability shining through from the actors, or a combination of other factors. They mostly reacted like real people, except for one instance:

SPOILERS

Summary

Though the acting and script are so bad that it’s distracting, and it’s also disappointing there is zero explanation, it is still quite an enjoyable and creepy watch. I dislike horror films that require a big dramatic scene explaining exactly what’s happening, but there weren’t even any subtle hints or questions for you to think about once it ends. In some ways it gives you a realistic ‘mystery’, but it doesn’t feel satisfying enough.

Rating: 6/10

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