The Abandoned

This low-budget horror film from 2006 revolves around an adopted child who returns to her native Russia as an adult to resolve the estate matters of her late biological family, particularly the remote and creepily run-down property and house. Cue the terror. And I friggin dare ya to watch this one in the dark and NOT get the heebie-jeebies! This flick is all about getting under the skin and it does it pretty damn well. Shivers ran through me a few times from the potent mix of the cold, bleak and dark atmosphere, the appropriately haunting and effective sound design and the chill-inducing visuals. Sure, it takes a few cues from ‘The Shining’ (but who doesn’t) and it has about 2 endings more than it really needs but if the filmmakers main goal is to unnerve the hell outta their audience? Mission Accomplished…at least for this fella. I also appreciated that the main character wasn’t a polished little twenty-something strumpet but a woman in her early 40s who actually conveys a sense of astonishment-laced fear and frustration convincingly. Some of the story elements are a little muddy in their ‘telling’ but all things being equal…this is a worthy addition to the ‘haunted house’ genre. Seriously…watch it in the dark.

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