Abandoned (2006)






Directed: Nacho Cerda
Written: Karim Hussain/Nacho Cerda (screenplay)
Starring: Anastasia Hille, Karel Roden, Valentin Ganev, Carlos Reig. Spain, Bulgaria. 1h 39m.

I must admit that I missed the very beginning of the movie but it was literally 5 minutes or so, and I have been reliably informed that I didn’t miss much!

The epic opening that I missed involved a peasant family who are eating dinner when a truck stops outside, the patriarch of the family goes outside, opens the truck to find a murdered woman and two crying infants. Marie Jones (Anastasia Hille) discovers her Russian roots and returns to the family home to find out more about her past and family after information that she has inherited a property in Russia and the advice that she should visit it. Upon arriving in a alien and hostile land, she eventually gets to the property where she is soon abandoned and has to make the best of a bad situation. With limited supplies she tries to get comfortable in the run down family home, looking for clues about her past, after discovering a few clues to some past violent events, an estranged twin brother, Nicolai (Karel Roden) and a dead version of the siblings who stalk them at night..

There is a stark and deathly atmosphere throughout the film, as the pair get to learn about each other and together start to unravel a macabre plot that would reveal the person who murdered their mother and how she managed to rescue them. As the house seems to switch between its current dilapidated state to it’s former glory, like any Silent Hill game, the pair witness not only the ghosts/zombies of themselves, but also they encounter a violent relation of their parents through screams in empty rooms.

Curiosity overtakes the two and their attempts to leave are other thwarted by ethereal means, they keep ending up back at the house no matter how hard and far they travel through the forest.

It’s quite a frustrating movie, I fully get that it slowly reveals the story as the two siblings repeat the tragic night again and again, but like Silent Hill 4 The Room (20) it just becomes infuriating that the movie takes so long to set up the atmosphere that it forgets to deliver any real spooks or scares. we just get a repetition of the two zombie like versions of the twins creeping up to them again and again, but further scares are abandoned as the title suggests. I did really feel the need to get through this beautiful nightmare, the effects are done with a rare arty horror, but it’s easy to get accustomed to the scarce as they never change in this cultish euro horror.

Nacho has delivered some extremely powerful films over the years, the most memorable is Aftermath (1994) a short film that won various awards and cult status among any fan of disturbing movies, but while La Trilogía De La Muerte that it comes from is fascinating on so many levels, both artistic, occultish and damned right gruesome, the longer the film the less intense they become when Nacho is involved. I’m blown away by that the cinematography and visual here, but the story hangs and drags the film into a slow drawl that it doesn’t recover from. It’s certainly worth going through this puzzling movie at least once but for me personally it’s not a keeper. I did see a lot of similarity between this and Across the River (2014), while this movie has a lot more going on it doesn’t actually tell a more indepth story and could have done with a more ethereal feel to it for the level of details it was wishing to divulge.

Rating 5/10

RAcross the River (2014), Silent Hill 4 the Room (2009),
L – Haunted House movies,
A – Why bother with accents?
5BKarel Roden
Vs – Abandoned Vs Across the River


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