Horror film Oculus was a hit for director Mike Flanagan earlier this year, so now I’m looking at one of his first movies, Absentia. But will it give me the chills?
Tricia (Courtney Bell) is finally accepting that her husband, who has been missing for seven years, is dead. Heavily pregnant and looking to move on with her life Courtney is preparing to declare him dead in absentia. However she is seeing strange hallucination of her husband Daniel (Morgan Peter Brown), while her sister Callie (Katie Parker) has seen some strange occurences in a tunnel entrance near their house. Can all these incidents be connected?
In some ways there is a lot to admire with Absentia. The acting, especially of the two sisters is strong, there is an underlying creepiness that is there throughout the movie and for the most part you are generally interested in finding out what happened to Tricia’s husband. But by the end it was all a bit too confusing for me and left me with too many questions. I’m not sure if some parts were meant to be open-ended and ambiguous or whether something was just badly explained. Unfortunately it meant I was left scratching my head trying to work out why certain things happen.
One of the biggest problems with this movie was the background music, if you can call it that. All the way through this movie the music kept popping up. At first the booming sound was creepy and gave tension but the more it was played the more irritating it became and didn’t half leave you with a headache.
Still there was at least one twist which I don’t think many viewers would see coming, unless you’re playing real close attention to things earlier in the film. Flanagan, who also wrote the movie, has shown that he is interested in making movies that are a bit different, and Oculus has proved that he is definitely going in the right direction.
Rating 2.5/5 – an interesting but not essential horror movie from a director that shows promise