Mr. William Nightshade Reviews Absentia (2011)

Salutations my screechers, screamers, and scary dreamers,

Tonight’s tale of terror entitled “Absentia” explores estranged sisters’ somber reconciliation and the reappearance of a declared dead spouse. Stories of a savage tunnel terror turn attention towards uncovering the underpasses monstrous mystery.

I have written twenty reviews or so and by now I am sure regular readers will know that most films receive between a five or an eight unless they are really not that great. The highest rating in any review of mine has up to this point been a nine and I began to doubt there would be a day when I would give any movie a perfect ten. Well, patient readers, I must wait no more for I am now handing out a perfect score and I do so after much contemplation so read on for my full dissemination.

The quality of the acting has some people divided but after a rewatch I have decided that for the most part the acting was good enough and I found only one portrayal was not up to snuff. Now I will grant that one character never quite rang true but since they were never given much to do I am inclined to forgive this minor transgression as it never intruded upon my overall impression. In fact, I appreciated seeing an unknown cast as my opinion was not tied to their work in the past and the majority of the acting was passable to strong so I stayed engaged as the movie moved along.

The pacing starts out at a crawl and at first I wondered if this was horror at all, but eventually the story takes a turn and shifts right out of its slow burn. Even after that moment the characters remain the core and I began to wonder what was in store as the direction was still very unclear even as the story kicked into gear. Now all of the setup could have been for naught if the conclusion felt tacked onto the plot, but I assure you, dear readers, the finale is sublime and sure to haunt viewers for a very long time.

Two more things I would like to mention before we conclude are the expertly crafted scares and mood.  The subject matter is fairly bleak and silence is used with great technique in fact they never used the score to make one jump but just kept things quiet to amplify each bump.  As a long time reviewer this was a breath of fresh air as too often music is used to achieve a scare and not having any clue as to when something might pop out kept me on the edge of my seat throughout.  The soundtrack itself is very bare bones and mostly consists of synthesized tones which means it is not likely to stick in one’s head but it worked for this picture as it underlined the dread.

Story/Concept: 2
Direction/Style: 2
Scares: 2
Atmosphere: 2
Rewatchability: 2
TOTAL: 10/10 

In brief, this film uses a tactic that is really inspired though to fully appreciate it some patience is required as the main method of causing viewers fear is showing us the edges while keeping the details unclear.  

Stick to the shadows my fine friends.

Sincerely,
Mr. William Nightshade