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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A microbudget gem
Wow, what a great find. ABSENTIA delivers a terrific story, great acting, and a chilling atmosphere for less money than most studio films spend on snacks. This is a quiet, character-driven drama with a few horror elements, not the aggressive horror film that the cover art would have you believe.

This movie isn't going to work for everyone. Some of the...
Published on 4 May 2012 by Ben Murphy

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Different Kinda Horror
'Absentia' is a low-budget horror movie that released at limited theaters in 2011 to a mixed response, however won numerous awards.

The movie tells the story of Tricia (Courtney Bell) whose husband Daniel (Morgan Peter Brown) has been missing for seven years. As she tries to get on with life, her younger sister Callie (Katie Parker) moves in with her. Both the...
Published on 9 Nov 2012 by Mitun


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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A microbudget gem, 4 May 2012
This review is from: Absentia [DVD] (DVD)
Wow, what a great find. ABSENTIA delivers a terrific story, great acting, and a chilling atmosphere for less money than most studio films spend on snacks. This is a quiet, character-driven drama with a few horror elements, not the aggressive horror film that the cover art would have you believe.

This movie isn't going to work for everyone. Some of the complaints I've read about it seem to be that it's boring (it's not, it's just a slow burn), that it lacks gore and nudity (it does, to its credit), and that it doesn't show the monster. It doesn't, and that's what makes this work for me.

This is a terrific example of DIY filmmaking done completely outside the system. With no resources, the filmmakers have put together a stirring and memorable thriller that punches far outside its weight class. It'll frustrate some viewers who expect something else, who have been misled by the cover art, or who don't understand exactly what it is that they're watching, but for fans of independent cinema this is an entirely unexpected gem.

I can't wait to see what they can do with a budget.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars YOU CAN SEE ME?, 14 July 2013
By 
The Movie Guy "Movies from A to Z" (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Absentia [DVD] (DVD)
Callie (Katie Parker) and Tricia (Courtney Bell) are sisters. Callie is a former drug addict who has traveled quite a bit. She can spout off about "dark matter" and "tangential universes." Tricia's husband Daniel(Morgan Peter Brown) has been missing for seven years. She is having him declared dead in absentia. She is also pregnant (do the math) and odds on favorite the kid will be as bald as Detective Mallory (Dave Levine) the man investigating the case.

Callie comes to visit her sister as the fateful day of declaring Daniel dead has arrived. She will help her sister move on. Callie likes to jog and when she does, she passes under a tunnel located under the highway. As she does, odd things start to happen. Like a good horror/mystery/thriller it starts out slow and builds up.

There are a few negatives on this film, first and foremost was the soundtrack. It was second tier all the way, especially during those sad scenes which ran way too long. There were a number of times I thought Courtney Bell forgot what role she was playing. And the third thing was the boom mike visible in the upper right hand corner in a midway scene that involves Callie walking into the bathroom. While the actual image on the DVD cover did not appear in this feature it was thematically correct.

Since the DVD box didn't say anything more about the plot, I won't spoil it because it is worth a view. If you enjoy odd missing persons films, you might like, "Yellow Brick Road" which I though was superior to this story.

F-bombs, no sex or nudity.
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtle, Minimalist Horror., 4 May 2012
By 
HorrorTerry78 (Los Angeles, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Absentia [DVD] (DVD)
This is great, quiet, character-driven horror if you dig movies like "Session 9," "The Eclipse" or the work of directors like Kiyoshi Kurosawa. It is low budget, psychological rather than explicit, and a slow burn. Best to do research before you view it, as there has been some backlash because of the somewhat misleading cover art. This is a quiet, slow-burn movie made for no money. It is gore-less, does not show the monster, and more of a film festival character drama with horror elements.

If you like movies with graphic gore, T&A, movies like "Saw" or "Hostel," or anything by Rob Zombie, you will almost certainly hate this movie. It requires an adult's attention span and an appreciation for character and subtlety. Highly recommended for discerning elevated-genre fans with healthy attention spans.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Damn good, 2 July 2012
By 
Friendly Chap (The West Country) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Absentia [DVD] (DVD)
Tricia has finally decided to move on with her life and get Danny, her missing Husband of seven years declared legally dead. At the same time her sister Callie decides to visit, Tricia begins to see strange nightmare'ish visions of her husband.

Whilst the heavily pregnant Tricia (a plot point I won't reveal) works during the day, Callie seems to go on endless runs. Near their house is a underpass which goes under the freeway and for some strange reason Callie seems drawn to it especially after seeing a weird looking homeless man there.

Sorry everybody, that's all I am going to reveal with regards to the film's narrative. Suffice to say the film takes you in all kinds of directions and very cleverly pulls you in. When you think you have got it worked out, something else happens and you are back to square one.

The film has picked up all sorts of awards and is thoughly deserving of them. Its a horror film with no blood or guts, just subtle effects and a brilliantly designed soundscape. The music by Ryan David Leack is a very eerie and reminds me of early John Carpenter scores such as The Fog. Acting wise, the performances are good especially Katie Parker as Callie and its a real pleasure to see Doug (Hellboy) Jones in a small role.

Writer/Director Mike Flanagan appears to be a very talented fellow and I look forward to seeing his next film, Scare Dares. Absentia is a breath of fresh air and honestly I can't recommend it highly enough.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Creepy horror that leaves you wondering............, 1 Sep 2014
This review is from: Absentia [DVD] (DVD)
There seem to be a lot of negative comments, I'm not sure why. I thought it was a genuinely creepy film that keeps you wondering. I was a bit disappointed with the ending after first watching, but after mulling the film over in my head I think the not knowing probably adds to the effectiveness. It was an interesting story which could have been developed further but I still think it worthy of 4 stars. Defiantly worth a watch.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Different Kinda Horror, 9 Nov 2012
By 
Mitun (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Absentia [DVD] (DVD)
'Absentia' is a low-budget horror movie that released at limited theaters in 2011 to a mixed response, however won numerous awards.

The movie tells the story of Tricia (Courtney Bell) whose husband Daniel (Morgan Peter Brown) has been missing for seven years. As she tries to get on with life, her younger sister Callie (Katie Parker) moves in with her. Both the sisters then find out about other disappearances as they experience mysterious happenings in the neighborhood.

The movie for me is made up of three parts, the first part is full of suspense and intrigue that pulls you in effortlessly. The second part is full of good character driven drama but the pace becomes slow. The third and final part really picks up in all areas, unfortunately the climax in the end doesn't explain anything.

The concept is fresh and original with an eery atmosphere accompanied by a number of twists. I loved the unpredictability. Where it falters is with the inconsistent screenplay, presenting the viewer with too many important questions without giving enough answers and finally the end, which wastes all the hard work done in the movie.

The DVD cover art is something to mention, its an attention-grabbing cracking cover with a generous number of positive critique endorsements. Some viewers might find the cover deceiving as it promises a lot of scares and possible gore without living up to it.

The performances are all mostly average, sometimes bordering on the weak side apart from Katie Parker who seems to have a good screen presence.

Now for the star of the show, the director Mike Flanagan does a magnificent job with a $70,000 budget, creating a sort of atmosphere that big budget films fail to do. He also skillfully causes the audience to use their imagination and interpretation. Making them feel that the feature is something more than what it actually is. This is just the start for Mr. Flanagan.

'Absentia' for some will be boring and for others a hidden gem.

For me, just like Daniel's character, something was MISSING.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good film, 6 Nov 2013
By 
Patricia Irene Higham (united kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Absentia [DVD] (DVD)
Great story and well acted; like other people have mentioned, the background noise is annoying. Apart from that I loved it. Very creepy!!!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Avoid the underpass, 10 May 2013
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This review is from: Absentia [DVD] (DVD)
Among the better low budget horror films. Well acted, directed and written. the atmosphere builds slowly throughout but i would not describe it as a slow burner. you will know what i mean if you have seen it. Definitely worth seeing.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Really poor in all respects !, 31 Aug 2014
This review is from: Absentia (Blu-ray)
This is a very poor film ... no suspense, not in the least bit frightening, poorly crafted story and background music that is really irritating. There are countless poor films in the genre, and this sits firmly in the middle of the lower end !
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5.0 out of 5 stars Done on a tiny budget this knocks up some good scares and decent performances, 27 Sep 2014
This review is from: Absentia [DVD] (DVD)
Cracking little horror film. Done on a tiny budget this knocks up some good scares and decent performances. The camera observes the action and has the feel of a found-footage film. Imagine 'Blair Witch' meets 'Ring'. Worth checking out
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Absentia [DVD] [2011] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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