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Absentia (2011)

5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 8,923 users  
Reviews: 105 user | 101 critic

A woman and her sister begin to link a mysterious tunnel to a series of disappearances, including that of her own husband.

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Title: Absentia (2011)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Callie
...
Tricia
...
Det. Ryan Mallory
...
Daniel Riley
...
Det. Lonergan
James Flanagan ...
Jamie Lambert
Scott Graham ...
Dr. Elliott
...
Walter Lambert
...
Mitch
...
Ruth
Elisabeth Adwin ...
Lawyer
...
Police Officer
Mark Dumonski ...
Dr. Carpenter
Brandon Valley Jones ...
Police Officer
Joseph Mendoza ...
Police Officer
Edit

Storyline

Tricia's husband Daniel has been missing for seven years. Her younger sister Callie comes to live with her as the pressure mounts to finally declare him 'dead in absentia.' As Tricia sifts through the wreckage and tries to move on with her life, Callie finds herself drawn to an ominous tunnel near the house. As she begins to link it to other mysterious disappearances, it becomes clear that Daniel's presumed death might be anything but 'natural.' The ancient force at work in the tunnel might have set its sights on Callie and Tricia ... and Daniel might be suffering a fate far worse than death in its grasp. Written by Mike Flanagan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There are fates worse than death.

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 April 2013 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Nestali  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$70,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1 / (high definition)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Tricia and Callie go looking at apartments around the midpoint of the film, the first empty apartment they visit was actually the very apartment that director Mike Flanagan' lived in (with four other people) when he moved to Los Angeles in 2003. It was a complete coincidence; the unit just happened to be vacant, and Flanagan had no idea they'd be filming there until they arrived on location that morning. See more »

Goofs

When Callie is introduced to the detective Mallory before she excuses herself to go shower she says "nice to meet," clearly forgetting the "you" at the end of the sentence. See more »

Quotes

Callie: I'm gonna shower. I smell like an armpit's asshole.
See more »

Soundtracks

Kill Me
Written and Performed by Beezle
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User Reviews

 
Give Mike Flanagan a Budget
29 July 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Nudity: 0 out of 10 (Look elsewhere if that's what you're here for)

Gore: 0 out of 10 (This is not a slasher)

-

Loosely based off of the Norwegian folktale "The Three Billy Goats Gruff," there appears to be something sinister lurking behind/under a pedestrian tunnel in "Absentia" - a movie that is less of a horror movie and more of a meditation on loss and grief.

Just-about-to-pop pregnant Tricia (real life pregnant Courtney Bell - who doubled as the line producer - you go girl!) has been grappling over the mysterious disappearance of her husband, who has been missing for seven years.

Pregnancies only last about nine months or so - which means that she has been impregnated by someone else.

Has she been disloyal to her missing husband? The reason that I ask is because it seems that her husband is trying to make his way back to her. He doesn't appear to be pleased.

Meanwhile, her wayward sister, Callie (the beautiful Katie Parker), is in town to support her sister through the later stages of her pregnancy.

Plot developments bring the two sisters closer and closer to the whereabouts of Tricia's husband.

You get the ominous feeling that they are approaching a web with a patiently waiting spider ready to pounce when they get too close.

Will this folktale have a happy ending?

-

Made on a shoestring budget, Mike Flanagan's "Absentia" has more depth and is far more engaging than the vast majority of horror movies released this day and age.

Particularly strong is the first half of the movie as a mounting sense of dread builds and builds. (Who knew that going for a jog could be portrayed as being so dangerous?).

The sisterly chemistry between Callie and Tricia is superb.

Cinematographer Rustin Cerveny wisely allows the camera to be an observer, rather than a distracting character of its own.

The two detectives are the weakest links here with too much screen time.

The Christianity/Buddhism contrast never really materializes in any meaningful way, despite Callie's actions at the end.

The most frustrating part of "Absentia" is the slew of unanswered questions, which weighs the movie down.

It doesn't come together in the end and you're left with a "parts are greater than the whole" feeling.

Regardless, "Absentia" bests nearly all mainstream horror movies and that is an impressive accomplishment.

With well less than 1% of the budget of Saw VI to work with, it's hard not to applaud an ambitious movie like "Absentia."


35 of 51 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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