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It has been sighted 42,000 times in 68 countries. A creature of myth and legend known by several names; Yeti, Sasquatch and the infamous Bigfoot! We've hunted it for years, but what happens when it decides to hunt us? "Abominable" centers on a man recovering from a mountain climbing accident, trapped in a remote cabin in the woods, who sees the legendary beast, and must convince someone to believe him, before the monster goes on a bloody rampage. Written by
The whole mythos surrounding "Bigfoot", "The Abominable Snowman", or "Sasquatch" is an enthralling one, captivating the general public since the first alleged Bigfoot sightings in the early 1950s. A number of Bigfoot films have been made, capitalizing on the general population's interest in these anomalies. Needless to say, many of these films have gone relatively unnoticed or dismissed as the campiest of B-Movies (excluding Hammer Studios' 1957 classic 'The Abominable Snowman'). This brings us to Ryan Schifrin's feature-length directorial debut 'Abominable'. Not since 1957 has such an enthralling, riveting, yet original picture hit the screens pertaining to this subject matter - a true creature feature with a Hitchcockian twist.
'Abominable' begins with the paraplegic Preston Rogers (Matt McCoy) traveling up to his mountain-home for the first time in six months after recovering from a mountain-climbing accident. Preston is accompanied by Otis (Christien Tinsley), an impatient and condescending physical therapist (The viewer soon learns from a local newspaper that the town has received an alleged "Bigfoot" report from a local resident). Preston soon reaches his cabin. As the evening progresses, he resides on his deck (overlooking the forest and a neighboring house) gazing off into the woods through a pair of binoculars. When Otis steps out to get a carton of soy milk for Preston at the nearest store, a group of girls arrive at the neighboring house. At the same time Preston soon begins to notice strange happenings in the woods surrounding the neighboring house and watches helplessly as the tragic events of the night unfold.
Standing drastically alone from the pseudo-horror produced by major (and minor) studios of this day and age, 'Abominable' is an excellent, extremely original, and extremely unrelenting film. The film accomplishes an atmosphere and storyline unachieved and untouched since the heydays of drive-in horror that were the 1950s through the 1980s. 'Abominable' possesses a certain quality which has been vacant within the horror genre (especially the monster-movie sub-genre) for years and years: it is devoid of CGI. The Monster (Michael Deak) is, in fact, a man in a suit! To some, this conjures up a question; does the suit look excessively "cheesy" and unrealistic? Fortunately it does not; the effects used are executed quite well and The Monster doesn't generate a phony-vibe in the least. Many of the facial movements of The Monster seem to be achieved through robotics (ala 'An American Werewolf in London') and the result looks extremely realistic and life-like. The film's plot is the result of a winning combination; it features the classic creature-feature storyline, coupled with a very Hitchcock-styled, 'Rear Window'-esquire, premise. The screenplay is excellent; practically all of the events within the film are experienced from Preston's helpless perspective. Whether it is at his window or on his balcony, Preston overlooks almost the entire series of events, giving the film an extremely claustrophobic and helpless atmosphere. The cinematography and lighting are also ingenious; the shadowy woods seen from the balcony add depth and an eerie uneasiness to the film. Matt McCoy proves himself to be an excellent actor, as does Christien Tinsley, but the character interactions between McCoy and Haley Joel prove to be the true acting highpoint within the film. A broad range of emotions are showcased between the two, all of which are executed with precision.
'Abominable' achieves a certain charm lacking in practically all horror films of this day and age. It showcases a style of film-making that has been lost, a style of film-making that is the horror genre: the classic monster movie. No, it doesn't have "breathtaking CGI", no the plot is not Steven King-worthy, but it manages to entertain and it manages to illustrate that which is the embodiment of American horror. Schifrin's film stands firmly as an instant cult-classic, on par with great titles and counterparts (dare I say) of the 1980s such as 'Pumpkinhead', 'An American Werewolf in London', and 'Prophecy'. 'Abominable' stands alone in a time when horror has gone to the dogs; it breaks the trend of spineless PG-13 horror films and shatters the standards of pointless special effects showcases such as 'Cursed'. The creature feature is back ladies and gentlemen, and in full force. The way horror should be "Abominable".
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