3 items from 2014
[Note: With the film set for a UK Blu-ray release on July 7th, here's a reposting of my review of Absentia from its original 2012 DVD debut]
Tricia’s husband Daniel has been missing for seven years. Her younger sister Callie comes to live with her and helps her find the strength to finally declare him legally dead ‘in absentia’. As Tricia tries to move on with her life she is haunted by terrifying visions while her sister finds herself drawn to an ominous tunnel near the house which is linked to other unexplained disappearances. It becomes clear the tunnel holds a dark secret, something lies in the shadows and Daniel may be suffering a fate far worse than death.
Absentia is, for all intents and purposes, a movie about loss – the loss of a loved one, the loss of control… It also deals with the dark side of life, the side of which you’d don’t always »
- Phil Wheat
Back in 2011 my best of the year list was topped by Mike Flanagan's Absentia, and with his follow-up, Oculus, in theatres now, it's good to see a little love being shown to his award-winning breakthrough film as it hits UK Blu-ray for the first time.
From the Press Release:
One of the most frightening films of recent years, Mike Flanagan's critically acclaimed Absentia makes its UK Blu-ray debut courtesy of Second Sight Films. A new DVD release is on its way as well, with both hitting stores on 7 July.
Tricia’s (Courtney Bell) husband, Daniel, has been missing for seven years, and with the help of her sister, Callie (Katie Parker), she finally declares him legally dead ‘in absentia.’ As Tricia tries to move on with her life, she becomes haunted by terrifying visions, while Callie is strangely drawn to an ominous tunnel near the house with links to other unexplained disappearances. »
- Debi Moore
Directed by Mike Flanagan
Thanks to the likes of James Wan, paranormal horror is all the rage. From Paranormal Activity to Insidious and The Conjuring, audiences are irretrievably hooked to tales of nuclear families being bloodlessly menaced by only-fleetingly-visible entities of malicious intent. What’s remarkable about Mike Flanagan’s Oculus, which follows his no-budget wonder Absentia, is how it manages to wring genuine dread from a beyond-worn subgenre simply by paying close attention to the realities of its deeply troubled characters. Oculus functions equally well as a tragic psychodrama as it does a horror film.
Flanagan appears to have taken inspiration from Stephen King’s seminal It, in which a group of childhood friends reunite to vanquish an evil force that has long plagued their town. Where King’s novel (and the TV-movie adaptation) adopted a neatly bifurcated structure, Flanagan flits between past and present, »
- Simon Howell
3 items from 2014
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