Review: THE ABANDONED Is A Russian Set Horror Movie

the-abandoned copy

The Abandoned is a horror movie directed by Nacho Cerda (co-written with Karim Hussainand Richard Stanley), which tries to put a European spin on the current wave of Japanese inspired horror films.

Marie (Anastasia Hille) returns to Russia after a forty year absence in order to discover information about her family who were murdered there many years before. However, when the film producer arrives at her old family home she is confronted by a ghost that is almost identical to her in appearance. Following an accident she meets a stranger named Nicolai (Karel Roden) who turns out to be her long lost twin brother. They realise that they have been summoned to the house for a particular reason – and it’s not a happy homecoming!

Filmed in Bulgaria and set in Russia, this fright-fest has some very good ideas hidden within it. Part haunted house; part ghost-story and part zombie film The Abandoned has some genuine chills and shocks – but at times it also comes across like an adult version of Scooby Doo, only without the pleasure of the Scooby Gang. The main problem with the film is that most of the genuine scares come within the first hour, leaving the climax to appear a tad silly. The only way that Cerda seemed to be able to get over this hurdle was to throw in plenty of gore, which trivialised the relatively sophisticated horror that went before it. That said, The Abandoned is a pretty decent film, one that is effectively a two hander, with the leads doing a decent job in the performance department. Though, they are far from outstanding actors.

With some good visuals, nifty sound design and an eerie score The Abandoned at times overcomes its low budget roots and towers above many of its Hollywood counterparts. Although, the film often becomes derivative reminding the viewer of such slow burning horrors as The Others, The Haunting (the original) and Don’t Look Now. It is these comparisons which lead to the films downfall as there’s no way that it can stand up to films of such a high standard.

Whilst The Abandoned may not be the greatest horror film of recent years it is entertaining and at times scary. A good change from the PG-13 remakes that Hollywood is churning out – you could do much worse than watch this Russian set horror. It’s entertaining, but I’d say more of a renter, than a buyer!The

Special Features

A pretty in-depth “making of” considering its slight 20 minute running time. This featurette offers some solid behind the scenes footage as well as interviews with the cast and the filmmakers. Also included on the disc is a trailer for the film.