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Old 09-11-2013   #1
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Absentia (2011)

I found this movie to be incredibly effective. It was something of a toss-up between Lovecraftian and Ligottian film. I can't saying much about it without spoiling it, but there are some exceptionally dark and troubling themes present here.

If you are interested in films that exploit ambiguity, skilfully suggest fates worse than death, and obviate the potential security of religious comfort, then by all means check this out.

-S.

OMNIA VNVS EST
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Old 09-11-2013   #2
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Re: Absentia (2011)

I agree.
One of the best horror movies of recent years.
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Old 12-22-2013   #3
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Re: Absentia (2011)

I've been looking for good horror films and have been slowly going through the ones talked about on this site. Absentia is absolutely fantastic. Anyone jaded by the mindless abuse of genre tropes, poor dialogue, cardboard cutout characters, or predictable story arcs should check this out immediately.

I was intrigued with how the mom and the sis interact with the situation in the first act. The mom is presented with events that are entirely mental, while the sis is presented with events that are entirely physical. Both presentations are flipped in subsequent acts, for devastating effect. The scene with the whispers and meditation bell, and the scene immediately following it, were merciless. My partner and I were both yelling NO NO NO as what was happening came into focus.

Speaking of which, the tone shifts between acts were lush.

The dialogue is so real, so natural, that I actually laughed out loud multiple times. I had just seen the Hobbit and the contrast was absurd.

The use of silent/music-only visual exposition worked so very, very well. The sensitivity and focus shown by the filmmakers is apparent on every level. The cinematography is as tight and understated as the script.

There was one scene that didn't work for me, and 2 minor threads that I was surprised to see left dangling.
Spoiler

I'm not a fan of scenes where one character googles something and then reads a wiki article to another character. It did tie the plot together, but I still found it jarring

They found animal bones in the husband's stomach. I was really expecting the autopsy on the father to also report animal bones, a discovery that would have disturbing implications for the detectives. A single line during the end conversation would have covered it.

What happened with the baby?! The trade was made, but then...???? If it was in the tunnel, it would have been found quickly. Of course, the detective would have crumbled upon sight of it, but none of the final scenes would really need to be changed. Even a shot at the end of police cars and crime scene tape at the tunnel would have worked. This was the most disturbing scene in the film, one that had been set up from the very beginning, but the impact was dulled by not making the outside world aware that it had even happened.

None of these things damage the film, it's just stuff that was on my mind as the credits rolled.


Great recommendation. I'll be preaching to my friends about this one for a while.
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Old 11-06-2014   #4
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Re: Absentia (2011)

Watched this recently. Enjoyed it a lot.

The Mask Behind the Face, Pendragon Press 2005
Shards of Dreams, Double Dragon eBooks 2004
Spare Parts, Rainfall Books 2003

Stuart Young\''s blog: http://stuartyoungwriter.blogspot.co.uk/
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Old 11-06-2014   #5
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Re: Absentia (2011)

What happened to the girl at the end, though?

“The real reason why so few men believe in God is that they have ceased to believe that even a God can love them.”
― Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island
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