Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Abandoned

Title: The Abandoned
Release Date: 2015
Rating: 2.5 out of 4

A fitting title for this post, the first in over two years! Oh well, they are still making horror movies, so I guess I'll still review them.

This is a good example of poor pacing, with fits and stops, slow lingering shots of nothing, and then lots of action all at once. I think the screenwriters stuck to one of those formulas they talk about in How To Write Screenplays books, and it just doesn't work to this film's advantage. Instead of feeling like a roller-coaster it's more like a stationary booth that occasionally shakes around.

I saw some good acting from Jason Patric, and some middling to poor acting from Louise Krause. The whole film is basically these two actor's characters as they spend their time doing security for a big opulent yet empty building overnight. Its a great premise, but on execution its much less spooky than it sounds. Krause plays "Streak," who's having her first night on the job, overseen by her counterpart Cooper, a sexist alcoholic with a good heart buried underneath a rough exterior.

Streak uncovers a portion of the building that is "off limits," and ignores that and delves right in. That's when ghosties (or are they hallucinations?) start to creep around and the suspense picks up. Honestly, its a real slog with just enough interesting moments to keep you watching until the end.

I have to say, however, the last 5 minutes, where the twist is revealed, I found to be very fulfilling and well-done. It breaks through its chains of psychological thriller cliches and ends up being something refreshing, and even, dare I say it, original.

I want to see more from the filmmaking duo Eytan Rockaway and Ido Fluk, but I want to see something bolder, less hemmed in by conventions and formulas. I am convinced they have it in them to do better.

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