Absentia (2011) Poster

(I) (2011)

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Deeply Unsettling!
PatrickTheRedMenace15 January 2012
This somber yet deeply unsettling film managed to give me the willies even in the less-than-ideal Horrorhound Weekend screening.

Not soon after a pregnant woman (Katie Parker) declares her missing husband (Morgan Peter Brown) legally dead, she begins to having terrifying visions that hint that maybe she spoke too quickly. Writer/director Flanagan pulls off an incredible feat with this film. He manages to reinvent the ghost story, then takes it to an unexpected, even creepier place.

Don't be fooled by the show-burn pacing, because the almost-suffocating tension had me squirming in my seat, forgetting to breathe.

It's been almost a year since I've seen ABSENTIA. What haunts me most is not the disturbing visuals or even the deeply unsettling story line. It's the mood. When I simply think about the title, I hear in my head its stark, two-note funeral organ score and my chest wells up with emotions not usually incurred by watching a horror movie: grief, loss and perhaps the most terrifying of all…the dread of inevitability.

Toss in a pitch perfect cast, including a heart-wrenching cameo from the always delicious Doug Jones, and BOOM! You've got my favorite horror movie of 2011.
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Slow and atmospheric creeper makes for a pretty impressive experience.
BloedEnMelk5 April 2012
I do not really understand why the average rate of Absentia is so low. Well, maybe I do understand, if you watch this horror with the expectations that you get a fast paced gore filled typical horror movie, you will be disappointed. Absentia is a slow one, and it basically has no real gore. So just skip it if that's what you are going for, and save this little gem the downrates which it really doesn't deserve.

Now, that having sad, Absentia has something different to offer. It's not per say in the storyline itself, which, when you read it, doesn't seem too original. What it's got to offer is mainly in the mood. The soundtrack, which is relatively minimum, really adds to the claustrophobic and depressing atmosphere. The acting is well done, realistic and believable, and the characters are well worked out and take the plot to a higher level. There are some weird things in the plot that make you wonder what is really going on. It gives the perfect sense of mystery, never fully explaining it, but definitely enough to leave you satisfied.

I found Absentia more of an experience, though it doesn't come short to the story at all. Things may or may not make sense, and you might wonder a couple of times how much comes to perception and how much of it is really happening, it doesn't take anything away from the story or from the mood. It only adds to it.

I was a bit reluctant when I put the DVD into my player but all my doubts faded away within the first minutes. The movie is perfectly shot, everything just works really really well. I am very pleasantly surprised and think it certainly belongs to one of the best horror movies of 2011.

The only bad thing I have to say about it is that a few times I found it hard to follow the dialogue (mumbling) and had to rewind to listen to it again.

Watch it if you get the chance, and if you like horror which crawls deeply under your skin. Do not watch it if you want action and gore.
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A standout horror film
tv2-194-4956815 March 2012
I don't write reviews much, in fact, I haven't done so since David Lynch's Lost Highway back in the 90's but having just seen ABSENTIA I felt obligated to share my thoughts.

This is an amazing horror/thriller. I cannot fathom how a director working on a minuscule budget can produce a film of this quality. The writing, photography and direction are absolutely first-class. The film generates a remarkably claustrophobic atmosphere and the actors, albeit amateur give incredible and heartfelt performances.

The film tells the story of two sisters, Tricia (heavily pregnant) and the other, Callie who is returning from an extended trip. The main plot involves the disappearance of the Trisha's husband seven years prior. She is just starting to heal, working to declare him legally dead and looking towards the birth of her child. Then things change.

To give anything else away would be unforgivable, but let's just say that Tricia's husband is not the only person to go missing in the neighborhood in recent times. Don't worry about that statement...this is not some dopey, clichéd serial killer film, this is something completely different. It's a mystery. Is the husband dead or alive and what is the meaning of the unusual things that Callie begins to see inside the nearby freeway underpass ? The film is hard to classify into a specific genre. It's part horror, part thriller, part scifi and utterly engrossing.

If you enjoy thrillers give this film a go. Forget the fact that it was made on a dime.. every aspect of it from the story, acting right through to a wonderful soundtrack guarantees you will have a great time with it.

I'm hoping that the director, Mike Flanagan gets noticed in a big way as a result of Absentia and someone throws him a team and a budget. If he can make a film this good on a tiny budget I can only imagine what he could do with more money.
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Very Good Low Budget Horror
ronnybrown19825 February 2012
If you come to this expecting something along the lines of Saw then you will be disappointed. It is a fairly slow moving, character driven, existential horror. That said, there are a good number of scares and tense, edge of your seat scenes.

It is well done - good cinematography, acting, soundtrack and story. Hopefully the director will continue the good work on his next film, from the decent way the characters were written and top notch direction (for what I guess was a small budget)this is a truly excellent movie.

Well done to all involved.

Highly recommended.
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Good premise that just got boring
RMS194912 March 2013
While I try to be more lenient with Low Budget productions, I still try and give my honest opinion on what I saw. It mas made very well and all the actors did a fine job.. But for me suspenseful thrillers should keep building and then have a satisfying climax. Unfortunately Absentia does neither... It starts off by creating an eerie atmosphere, offers several paths to take, but then just keeps doing that same attempt to pull you in over and over.. Once you already "pulled" the audience in,, you should then take them on a wild ride forward, not keep repeating the previous premises till it's monotonous,,.. Anyway, it was okay for a single viewing and I do wish all involved the best of luck on their next adventure...
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Do Not be absent for this great horror flick: ABSENTIA
klimari12 August 2011
Last night, with not much fare on cable, I decided to watch Absentia. A recent horror film by Mike Flanagan.

First off let me start by saying that horror is my favorite genre. Not your "slasher" flicks though… but well crafted Gothic horror like Robert Wise's original THE HAUNTING.

Creepy atmospheric films that get you thinking and make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

You can read the synopsis here on IMDb, so I won't go into that. As far as reviews go, Variety couldn't have said it any better! (http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117945387/)

The low budget only proves that a cool story, some nice direction, well paced editing and a more than capable cast don't need to come from a big Hollywood studio… and they rarely do these days!

At times the scares are so subtle (ala the cult classic B film, "Let's Scare Jessica to Death") you won't believe your own eyes. Is Daniel really there or a figment of his wife's (played brilliantly I might add by Courtney Bell) imagination?.

The real standout here though is Mike Flanagan, the writer/director.

I await his next project with great anticipation! 8 out of 10 stars!

PS-Notice some of the character references to some horror director icons. Carpenter, Del Toro, Romero... :)
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Well written, character driven story
Hammond Chamberlain4 February 2012
I had not been aware of this movie until I was given a pass to see it streaming on VOD. So, I was going in with no idea of what I was going to see. I was extremely pleased. The build and atmosphere that was created was great. I was impressed with the direction and the tight script. The women who play the main characters are great. The feeling of family history is created very well and early in the script. The way that everyone in the movie is finding their own ways of coping with the events in the movie shows the attention to the detail of each character and how they fit into the story and this world. I am very glad that I was able to see and I do want to see it again. SEE THIS Movie.
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An important independent horror
filmbizarro22 February 2011
After hearing our good friend James DePaolo over at CinemaHeadCheese.com giving this some damn good comments, I figured it would be something worth checking out. I've been in need of a good horror movie to really get into my head, and one from 2011 couldn't sound any better. "Absentia" is that movie. It's one of the movies I will remember 10 months from now when I start making my "Best of 2011" list. The year has just started, but if the past years have taught me anything, it is that great movies are rare.

The movie takes its time to explain the background story to you early in the movie by having our lead character, Tricia, put up missing person posters. Gradually from that, we also find out that he has been gone for 7 years. And then we have Callie, her sister. Callie moved away 5 years ago but has just gotten back in town and is gonna live with Tricia. Tricia has just accepted that her husband is actually gone and won't be coming back, when she all of the sudden starts seeing him everywhere. A therapist explains this to her by saying that it's her mind processing the acceptance. But when Callie is out jogging one day, she meets a strange man in a tunnel who she later finds out is another missing person. One of many in the neighborhood.

There is a lot going on in the movie, but it always takes the time to make sure you follow the events. Even though many things are unexplained and hard to grasp, it's so perfectly thought-out that you never feel cheated, instead you keep your mind working constantly to connect everything. And this is what makes the movie so great, there are so many levels of things. By the time the movie ended I couldn't even decide what I thought was going on in the movie, I literally had three different solutions to the whole film. Which one is the right one, I don't know. And I don't care, I love it this way.

It's a movie that works in the most simple of ways, and it never goes over-the-top. Unlike most supernatural / psychological horror movies out there this works strictly with the atmosphere, the story, the mood and the emotions, and it couldn't possibly do a better job. The actors are all terrific and they all help us sell this story.

If I had to be really picky about something it would have to be some of the jump scares. Not because they are jump scares (which we all know are cheap ways to scare), because they are carefully placed and all that, but the sound is often what sells them and here they weren't as effective as they could've been. But it gives the scares a more subtle tone which helps building the atmosphere yet again, so it's really a double-edged sword.

"Absentia" is an important movie, it shows what good thinking can do compared to good effects. It puts you into the misery of our characters and has you constantly trying to figure out what is really going on. There was not a second of this movie that I thought dragged on, even though things sometimes move slowly. There is nothing better than a slow movie that really has you hooked, because only then can it really get you to feel and care for the characters, and "Absentia" manages to do just that. A must see!

More reviews at FilmBizarro.com
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Mike Flanagan's first horror feature is an effective psychological thriller, packed with surprising moments, good performances and clever scares.
Guillermo Bosque10 December 2014
Summary: Mike Flanagan's first horror feature is an effective psychological thriller, packed with surprising moments, good performances and clever scares. 80/100 (B+)

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. Absentia is a great psychological horror film that will leave you guessing about what was real and what was not. It is a very well done low-budget flick, superbly acted, original and sinister.

Absentia is a strangely original movie. I really liked all of the psychological aspects of it. Flanagan surprises us with a bunch of unexpected scares, and some relentless drama. Also, the acting was quite good. The film does not feel hampered by its extremely low budget ($75,000 US), all of the scares have quality. It is impressive how well this film is directed. The performances were great, and I cared about the characters. If you are a horror fan you should not miss this hidden gem. It is amazing what Flanagan can do with a micro-budget. In spite of a kinda boring musical score, I still loved Absentia. It is one of the most thought-provoking horror films I have seen, it deals with a very moving story that is painfully sad. The ending leaves some questions, but it makes the film even more debatable. (B+)
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Eerie. Ingenious. Creepy. Brilliant.
Greg11 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Eerie. Ingenious. Creepy. Brilliant. Normally, we save these words for later in a review. That way we can bore our readers with details of a plot and any information on the actors or the characters they portrayed. But we were so taken by Mike Flanagan's Absentia that we needed to catch your attention right off the bat. Eerie. Ingenious. Creepy. Brilliant. Absentia opens with a mystery already afoot. Tricia's (Courtney Bell) husband has been missing for seven years and her rehabbed sister Callie (Katie Parker) has moved in with her at the same time the State is issuing a Death Certificate for the missing Daniel (Morgan Peter Brown). Tricia is pregnant and looking to finally put the seven years of grief and speculation as to what might have happened behind her when she begins to have visions of her husband - visions that are terrifying and downright spooky. With the encouragement of her sister Callie, Tricia goes on a date with an investigator on her husband's case. But she gets no further than a few steps from the house, when Daniel mysteriously appears on the street – pale and disoriented. Questions abound. Where has he been? Was he molested or injured in any way? And who kept him and fed him all these years (stomach contents reveal a grotesque discovery)? Daniel is unable to either respond or unwilling to assist in the investigation. But it is clear he has been through a traumatic experience that left him almost dead. Meanwhile, Callie meets a strange and helpless man in a tunnel she uses as part of her jogging route. The man seems confused and surprised that Callie can see him. When Daniel miraculously returns after seven years, Callie begins to piece together a strange puzzle of disappearances in the area that include the man she saw in the tunnel the day earlier and others who have gone missing over the past 100 years. A frightening conversation with Daniel later reveals even more horrifying details. A story of a creature that lives in the walls that kidnaps and keeps its victims under the city is presented by Daniel just before he is again captured by the unknown entity. It is then up to Callie and Tricia to try and rationalize the events of the last 24-hours while struggling with the sanity of the situation that reveals itself to be supernatural. Absentia is one of those rare independent films that jumps out and grabs you. The performances by Parker and Bell hit the bull's-eye and it is their relationship that drives the first half of the film. Daniel's appearance takes Absentia in an unexpected direction and it is a direction full of incredible unseen possibilities with a few good jolts thrown in for good measure. There was rarely a hint of the usual 'I-knew-that-was-coming' that is so rampant in screeners' thought processes while watching a modern day thriller/horror. Every scene and every note brought the audience further down the rabbit hole and nothing was clear or easily spelled-out for a remedial or simpleton viewer. All the above makes Absentia one of the best horror films of the 2011 year. It was brilliantly acted while it methodically unfolded a complex story that leaves much to the imagination. In short, it was eerie, ingenious, creepy and brilliant.
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Awful, boring, absurd, and ridiculous
ssolow4 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
So much for watching films based on other reviewers reactions. I hoped this would be a good horror film because so many viewers seemed to like it. What I found was a ridiculous, slow paced, poorly acted, clichéd piece of junk.

What makes it worse is that it does hook you in at first with the expectation that the plot is going to make some sort of sense or that something worth waiting for is going to happen. What happens is that some giant insect living in the 4th dimension is hanging out in some damn tunnel and kidnapping people. It feeds them some animals but I guess there is no showers there because they have to wear the same clothes for years and years. Oh, and you can trade with the big spider insect thing. If you bring it a puppy or some watches or something it might give you back your loved one worse for the wear.

Horror film lovers are so desperate for entertainment that just because this film is not out of focus and has a minimum of suspense to sustain it they forgive the most banal acting and absurd premise. The horror really is in watching this film and feeling your life blood and precious time drain out of you.
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It deserves more credit than it's been given.
Ginette Scully12 September 2012
This movie is not perfect. For those who expect perfection, you'll be hard to please with this one.

I've read some negative reviews and many of them seem to be harping on how the lead actress is pregnant when her husband has been missing for 7 years or whether the events that transpired are supposed to be mere hallucinations of her younger drug-addicted sister. These things are definitely clarified in the movie, so if you find yourself being bothered by such trivial matters, you probably weren't paying attention.

The scary/horrifying moments are good; some of them did send shivers up my spine. The possibilities of what caused the horrific events are explained, and it's a phenomena that is in fact discussed in the real world. So its not entirely a senseless fantasy.

Yes there are moments that seem unexplained, but again, with enough attention paid, you'll be able to figure out why this character was doing that or why that character said this. In a way, this movie reminds me of Rosemary's Baby, in that much is left up to your imagination; no in-your-face creatures and gore. BUT this is definitely MUCH BETTER than Rosemary's Baby as just the right amount is revealed to terrify while just the right amount is left a mystery, for added suspense and thrill.

In my opinion, it worked. I'd give this a 6 only because the soundtrack of the movie bothered me a little. But it deserves a 6.5. I mean Rosemary's Baby annoyed the crap out of me for too much was left unknown and unseen. Yet that's got a whopping 8/10. Give this movie a shot.
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Lovecraftian Cosmic horror.
hardgearcowboy10 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I almost never write movie reviews, but this one deserves the attention.

There may be a little wooden acting in places, and perhaps the background relationships take up a little more space than most horror fans would like.

But make no mistake, the soul of this movie is cosmic horror. It could have been written by Thomas Ligotti. The story is utterly horrifying, not because of some expertly-rendered CGI monstrosity, but because of the total vulnerability of the characters. They don't know anywhere near enough about what is happening to safeguard themselves, and it isn't death that they face - it is implied to be something far more sinister.

This movie is refreshingly iconoclastic. In this depiction of the world, there isn't some convenient deus ex machina to rescue the people who we might feel deserve mercy. It isn't enough that they are good people, it isn't enough that they are loved or that they have faith in a benevolent power. Nothing is sacred. Everyone is a candidate for the utmost suffering and depravity, simply because that is the way the cosmos happens to be.

There will be a large number of people who do not like this movie. My father is one of them, and I think his attitude neatly sums up the expectations of many horror fans. Now don't get me wrong – I love my dad, but when it comes to movies, he is a bit of a dick.

I watched this movie with him. At the end, I was stunned in horrified silence. His closing comment was "Well that was a load of crap – you hardly got to see the monster!".

Unfortunately, this attitude is not uncommon. I marvel that people could find a horror movie which shows them everything, relying on no sense of ambiguity or implication whatsoever, to be entertaining. Anne Radcliffe once wrote "They must be men of very cold imaginations for whom certainty is more terrible than surmise". I could not agree more. Don't give me monsters – give me superbly crafted storytelling, implication and strategically placed ambiguity.

I'm not saying there is no room in this world for monster movies. It's just that for me personally, if I see a film that opens with showing the entity in question, my interest is immediately and irretrievably lost. My imagination needs ambiguity to sustain interest. Absentia accommodates this requirement almost perfectly.

This movie is brooding, nihilistic horror par excellence. Enjoy.
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A very slow and drawn out horror movie that is actually really good and worth watching. Surprisingly good movie. I say B
Tony Heck25 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
"In the last 100 years 5 people from this neighborhood have all disappeared in the same spot." While preparing to declare her husband dead in absentia Tricia (Bell) is joined by her estranged sister Callie (Parker). After a jog Callie finds a stranger in the local tunnel and begins to read about strange happenings related to the tunnel. She begins to try and convince everyone that there is more to the tunnel then they see. This is a very strange movie to review. On one hand it is a very neat idea with pretty good acting that keeps you interested. On the other hand it is also a good half hour movie that is stretched out and some parts are very repetitive and boring. There are some movies where nothing seems to happen that are a struggle to get through and there are some where you keep watching and your not sure why. This one is the later. Overall, a slow and drawn out but enjoyable movie that deserves to be watched. I give it a B.
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Good Effort for Independent Horror but Misses the Mark
endingstart924 October 2011
This was a good effort for a small budget independent horror film. I think some ideas were promising - for example, there's a great twist in there around half way through that makes you go "hmm, I wonder where they will take this" which is fantastic. You don't get to think that a lot in horror films. The first half has some generic scary scenes - I wish it wasn't just a man with white makeup making a scary face because it's been overdone. It's not haunting. But, good overall pacing. However, instead of really turning the second half into something quite scary or chilling, the explanation for what's going on falls flat. Without ruining the story, when the "reveal" happens it's just not scary whatsoever. One of the characters goes on a little rant to explain it all to her sister and it's quite comical (not sure if that was intentional or not, but it came across as silly). Instead of leaving some ambiguity at the end, everything is beat over our head again and again and it feels too forced. I think if some things were pulled back a tad and executed slightly differently, this film would have been more successful. The acting was good (no complaints there) and the use of the tunnel imagery was nice. Some comical scenes between the cop and the sisters were chuckle worthy as well. Overall, not bad. But, unfortunately, not the hyped up film I was expecting. Taking into consideration that this is an independent horror film, I would give it 6/10. But, as a film overall I'll stick with the 5.
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Great DVD cover, nothing like it in the actual film
rstef122 April 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Many reviewers will pontificate that if you didn't like this it's because you're jaded by big budget, Hollywood style, shock-a-minute horror movies. Or you don't have the attention span for cerebral horror.


A good low budget indie movie like Halloween, Insidious or Blair Witch Project can deliver the goods, this film doesn't. Too slow moving, with virtually no payoff. There are a couple quick creep-out moments, one in which we're teased with the briefest glimpse of a cool centipede-like creature, however, that's all you get. After dragging along for the better part of 80+ minutes like a Lifetime drama, there's a brief bit of action and then the end arrives and just collapses in on itself. Forget about getting anything like an explanation, the writer/director/producer was just going for mood. He barely gets that, just plodding pace, repetitious scenes, average to mediocre performances (there is no character development, just cardboard cutouts going through the paces), and a rather annoying soundtrack that sounds more morose than eerie.

It's not awful, and I see by the reviews that some viewers enjoy the "feel" that the director was striving for, but I "feel" it could have been done way better.
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simply awful
specialuse11727 May 2013
Don't get me wrong - I love slow building tension and plot driven stories. This movie has neither. The film did not feel cheap or amateurish, the budget has nothing to do with my rating or how much I liked the film. There was just nothing to it - a 10 minute short would have been better and would have covered the little plot that was there. The music was bland as was the direction. It was not pretentious or striving to be artistic (except maybe with the ending), just vanilla without any flavoring. If you like watching several scenes of someone jogging that has nothing to do with the story this is your film. If you like having no character you even care about this is your film.
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Great Horror Movie! A Must See
mrs-white7713 February 2012
I absolutely Loved this Movie! The acting was phenomenal! I have to say this is one of the best if not THE best horror Movie I have ever seen! A Must SEE! I will be watching this movie again to make sure I get the full impact of it! My husband who is the biggest critic of horror movies Loved this Film also! Great cuddle movie for Valentines Day! Grab your popcorn, soda and valentines chocolates and watch this movie! Just enough scare factors to not be boring or too bloody! I will be telling all my friends and family as well as my followers on FB to watch this movie! Thank You directors, writers and actors and actresses for making such a great movie!
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Horrendously boring horror movie
croabas15 July 2011
This is a most awful and disappointing film. My girlfriend and I paid $4.99 to watch it based on its very respectable IMDb rating. The money would have been better spent on Addams Family reruns. I did not feel so much as a tinge of fear or suspense as I watched characters who were completely contrived engage in shallow and meaningless dialogue about nonsensical gobbledygook, all in the service of a plot that went absolutely nowhere and fell laughably short of the depth the screenwriters so desperately wanted to give it. I'm a fan of a many different horror genres, but the only genre this one belonged to is called "caca." Save yourself the trouble and go watch some Addams Family reruns instead.
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Not terribly good
kelvynchin5 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Look. Kudos for a reasonably polished film on a minuscule budget, but I'm sorry to say that this was a pretty boring film.

If you'd like to see a film that clearly is shot on a small budget, has unattractive leads who are clearly amateur actors, no special effects at all, a grating 2 note "film score" , poor script, amateur direction, then by all means. I wasted 90 minutes on this. There was actually nothing ingenious or original about the whole plot. It's a basic monster abduction story, told through the POV of two unappealing protagonists, and there was no suspense , nor was there anything creepy. Nada. It would have been better if it was studio produced with better technical credits and professional actors. I can't understand how this "horror" film managed to garner such good comments and/or awards. Just try watching something like Ti Wests' The Innkeepers after this movie - the difference in quality is huge.

All in all, this was a waste of time.
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Not Worth The Time
Willy Beamin28 July 2012
I watch horror movies for 2 reasons. Obviously to be scared/thrilled, but more importantly to see a creative story. This lacked both of these completely.

Any movie filmed in dark houses and with creepy music will be slightly scary (think boogeyman from the Disney channel) There are probably 3 parts in this movie in entirety that are even close to being scary and they desperately fall short.

Now for the story. Good idea, I can dig it, but missed the mark completely, there are way too many unanswered questions and parts of the movie that just don't make sense and with no elaboration on the many of the minor themes, you're just confused and bothered that you just wasted a short 80 minutes.

At one point they mention atoms and how everything is just space and then change the subject after like 30 seconds. Very very poor job there.

In short, too ambitious, all over the place, confusing, boring, corny at times, not worth it. The three stars are for the fact its made with 70 grand, that is just straight up damn impressive. Nice job there.
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What a pleasant surprise
Ben Murphy12 April 2012
This movie is a real gem, and woefully underrated. Detractors are a very loud minority, and I can only assume that the film's misleading and unfortunate cover art has mobilized a loud and angry group of viewers who feel cheated by the reality of what the film is. They've been cheated out of the explicit, exploitative B-horror film the art sells, and instead are given a thoughtful, meditative, quiet, slow-burn of a supernatural drama that is an inspiring example of no-budget, independent filmmaking that seems entirely wasted on some viewers.

It is a shame, and the film's rating on this site is not an accurate representation of its quality. Not by far.

I'm glad I researched the film before I watched it, as the critical reviews are just about unanimously glowing and help create appropriate expectations, but frankly I wouldn't have picked it up at all were it not for the powerfully persuasive word-of-mouth from reputable critics and the very long list of film festival awards and acceptances. I never would have picked it up based on the covert art, and imagine the type of viewer that would will certainly have a hard time.

The story is simple and understated - a young woman is coming to terms with finally declaring her missing husband dead. She's pregnant, so has clearly begun to try to move on, but still is haunted both by his memory, and by increasingly disturbing visions of her husband that also intrude into her waking hours. Her younger sister comes to stay with her, and notices something strange about a pedestrian foot tunnel nearby.

I won't ruin the rest. The acting is unreasonably good for a cast of complete unknowns. The production values are exceptional, especially if you realize that the filmmaker had no equipment, no lights, and no crew to work with. People have complained about the music, but I found it entrancing. And no, YOU DO NOT SEE THE MONSTER. I have read reviews where people screamed this fact in frustration, but it is what sets this film apart.

This is a mature, gorgeously crafted indie film that reminds of movies like SESSION 9 or RETRIBUTION. It is not explicit, it is gore-less, there is no nudity, it features realistic body types, and it relies on dialog and silence to tell its simple, contained story. It is a film festival movie. It is, at its heart, a quiet drama. If that appeals to you, you will LOVE this gem. If not, you will find yourself frustrated. I understand how that frustration can lead to negative reviews, but those reviews are not a fair representation of the quality of this film. That they're SO angry, so violently abusive to this film, well ... that further demonstrates the type of person that this film is NOT for.

Highest recommendation.
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Absolutely without a doubt the worse movie I have ever seen!
jsgodive16 July 2011
Worse than an USA up all night movie! Plot is slow, actors are mediocre, as far as being classified as "horror" I have been more scared by an Alford Hitchcock novel. We kept waiting and waiting for the plot to thicken and the excitement to begin, within 30 minutes of the movie, my husband was grabbing for his yacht magazine. I kept hanging in there just hoping at some point the movie would grab my interest. This movie was so bad, I was almost mad that I paid money to rent it, when in essence I should have been paid to sit through such boredom on a rainy Saturday evening! A good suspenseful movie makes the viewers hold to their chairs and leaves room for imagination. While watching Absentia, we could tell each other what was going occur next before it happened on the screen. Most reviews of movies are pretty much dead on but the reviews I read prior to renting this lame movie could not have been more off. Quite disappointing-to say the very least. Again, if seeking a good, scary, suspenseful movie, run from this one.
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Oh boy...
ravenhair7021 December 2012
Okay. My wife and I are at the redbox and we come to that point where we look at each other because everything good is rented out. we scroll through and both agree upon THIS movie...sadly.

Aside from the all too hitting-in-the-face-fact that you can tell this flick is shot like a home movie..you know...the whole shaky camera thing...obvious from the start. To say this movie takes a while to get going is a bit of an understatement. I wanted to do the one thing I ALWAYS do during a bad movie...FASTFORWARD. But I gave the movie the benefit of the doubt. I know as a professional horror movie renter that 99% of all horror movies do NOT end well. I accept this. But this ending just...well after watching the WHOLE movie...it just blows...sorry. I would advise against renting this one. Instead...I hear the watching paint dry channel has a new special...shades of blue. Check it out...
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strange flick were nothing is really explained
trashgang27 February 2012
So far I haven't seen a flick directed by Mike Flanagan and this doesn't add his name to my 'directors look out' list. It's a bit difficult to review this flick because it goes very slowly and somehow you just wants to know what is in the tunnel. But it's clearly to see that it is a low budget flick because there are in fact no effects used.

By doing so you need a good script. And the script was okay but still sometimes it all took a bit too long or some scene's did reappear like the praying in the bed room or the yoga stuff. But you kept looking due the acting. I can't say that they did it bad. Katie Parker (Callie) and Courtney Bell (Tricia) did well and were believable and had to say so many lines here because there's a lot of talking going on. Even as there isn't any red stuff in it or effects it's them who made it watchable. And they are just in the business so a big cheer to them both.

At the end you are still full of unsolved questions and not everything is explained but it's worth looking at. This flick shows that a flick full of blah blah isn't always struggle to get through. Not exactly my kind of horror but I'm sure due the situations that you surely knew such a place, read tunnel, in your neighborhood that looks creepy.

Gore 1/5 Nudity 0/5 Effects 1/5 Story 3/5 Comedy 0/5
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