Paul Dundon’s Weblog

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A little cheese and a little whine

Film Log: The Abandoned

Details here

This rather bleak horror is one of a spate of films from around 2005 where the old Eastern Bloc becomes a sort of new frontier, a place where laws of all sorts no longer apply. The Abandoned uses this atmosphere to create a no-holds-barred gothic ghost story where past, future, living and dead mingle seamlessly and inexplicably.

This gives the film license to alternate between long spells of atmosphere building and brief moments of explicit horror, a combination which doesn’t always work to its advantage. It creates a narrative structure which feels very stilted, with long stretches where nothing happens punctuated by abrupt lurches where one of the characters takes on the job of Basil Exposition and moves the story forward a step. This, coupled with some slightly showy visual effects, gives the whole thing the feel of a video game.

It is, however, engaging enough to fill a rainy afternoon and while the conclusion doesn’t make complete sense it is well in line with the film’s own standards of reality. The conclusion is very bleak, however, so if you need a happy ending, this isn’t the film for you.

Uncomfortable Plot Summary: Driving accident marrs surprise family reunion.

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Filed under: Film + TV

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My Bookshelf

The Golden Bough
The Value of Nothing
The Fire
A Wolf at the Table
Devil Bones

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