The Abandoned – DVD Review

Available at Amazon.com

Director

Nacho Cerdá

Cast

Anastasia Hille Marie Jones
Karel Roden Nicolai
Valentin Ganev Andrei Misharin/Kolya Kaidavosky
Paraskeva Djukelova Marie’s Mother
Carlos Reig-Plaza Anatoliy

DVD Release Date: June 19, 2007
Rating: R
Running Time: 98 Minutes

The Movie

Marie is a film producer from America that seemed to have a good life going for her. She had no real problems and life was seemingly going in the right direction. When she finds out that she has inherited the farmhouse she was abandoned in as a child, some old memories come flooding back. Marie decides to make the trip to Russia so she can settle up and get this part of her life over with. Hoping it would be a quick and easy trip though is only wishful thinking.

Upon her arrival at her mother’s farmhouse, some poking around gets her into a bit of trouble including almost getting herself drowned in a nearby river. That is when she meets a man named Boris who just so happened to be there to save her life. A little discussion teaches her that he is her long-lost fraternal twin that she never knew existed. Boris is just as confused as she is though because he never knew that she was around either. Their lawyers had both told them to head to Russia to claim their property, but no word of living relatives was ever mentioned.

Those wouldn’t be the only secrets uncovered as they start to look through the house. Soon ghostly visions begin to appear before their eyes and they look strangely familiar. Flashbacks of what had happened so many years ago in the house begin to flood their minds showing them things they never had an idea happened. And they soon realize why the visions look so familiar because they are of themselves. These doppelgangers show them what will happen to them if they continue on and the grim futures that are in store. Another strange entity is around though and intends to keep the twins in the house where they have belonged for so long.

After viewing The Abandoned, I’m not entirely sure why it was kept separate from the rest of the After Dark HorrorFest. It got another run in theatres and was even kept out of the DVD box set of the “8 films to die for.” From what I had heard, it was the cream of the crop and stood head and shoulders above the other seven films. That couldn’t have been further from the truth. Compared to the rest in the collection, The Abandoned would actually rank sadly near the bottom.

The mood of the film couldn’t have been done better. The old farmhouse is a thing of beauty to any horror fan and the overall feeling makes for a fantastic eeriness to truly enjoy. But the story is just boring. There aren’t many different aspects of the film then the same nightmare Boris and Marie keep going through over and over again. After a while you just begin hoping for some kind of change of scenery or even a pointless twist. Sadly enough, it never comes and you’re left in a repetitive loop.

The Video

The film is shown in 16×9 Anamorphic Widescreen format and has a great feel about it. If you’re expecting for the bright colors to be crisp and sharp, don’t bother for there aren’t many at all. The entire film is rather dull colored and has a blue hue over it for the duration but it works for the mood they are trying to present. Still everything is very clear and the camera work is phenomenal.

The Audio

The film is heard in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and comes through alright. The dialogue is a bit low at times and can’t always be heard without adjusting the volume here and there. And on some of the hard music notes to set the tone for a scene, the bass gets a tad much. But those are minor problems as overall it was very nice sounding film experience.

Special Features

The Making Of The Abandoned – A rather basic “making of” featurette with the director and actors discussing the film and how it was to create. A lot of focus though is on how the set design and shooting the film in Bulgaria made work a bit easier for them. The Bulgarian countryside and a house they had found were perfect for the look director Nacho Cerdá had in mind when he read the script. A fun watch but very short.

TrailersAfter Dark HorrorFest 2007, The Gravedancers, Dark Ride, Reincarnation, Unrest, The Hamiltons, Penny Dreadful, and Wicked Little Things

The Inside Pulse

If you’ve already purchased the box set with the rest of the films then you’ll probably want this one to complete your set but it won’t be one you watch often. The Abandoned just doesn’t compare to the likes of The Hamiltons, The Gravedancers, and Wicked Little Things. Throw on top of that maybe ten minutes of special features, not including the trailers, and this was a waste of a DVD release when it should have been included with the rest. Pick it up to complete your set if you’re as anal as me, or simply rent it one night if you are really bored.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for The Abandoned
CATEGORY
RATING
(OUT OF 10)
THE MOVIE

4
THE VIDEO

9
THE AUDIO

7
THE EXTRAS

2
REPLAY VALUE

2
OVERALL
4
(NOT AN AVERAGE)