**** Absentia is a very smart, relatively slow-paced, moody supernatural thriller. The title comes from the legal term ” in absentia” which – in this case – is regarding the process of declaring one character’s husband dead 7 years after he disappeared without a trace. The woman’s slacker sister arrives to help her through the hard time, and there are more complications, and it quickly becomes apparent that there is something supernatural occurring. One of the best scenes near the beginning when the sisters are imagining the various fates the husband could’ve met. But, there is no happy ending in Absentia and the basis of the whole story actual lies in a story told to countless children. Skip it if you only like CGI monsters, big explosions, and actors you already know. This is high-quality indie, not Hollywood.
The Objective (2008)
** The Objective is from Daniel Myrick. Not quite a household name, but his first foray into cinema still is, The Blair Witch Project (1999) (with Eduardo Sanchez). Though that film still holds its own, in my eyes, this film starts out decent enough, but it left me ultimately disappointed in the end. It is both rushed and doesn’t lend any explanation to the oddities within either it or the rest of the film. Prior to that, though, it had a lot of promise, good acting, and interesting – even if overly processed – cinematography. Set in the earlier days of US troops in Afganistan, a CIA spook and a team of soldiers are on a search for a secret Taliban weapon, only to run afoul of… well… that’s the problem right there. I’d recommend skipping this one, unless it’s late at night and you’re trying to find something to invite the Sandman to visit.
Silent House (2012)
*** This is a decent indie thriller which starts out by creating a lot of good atmosphere. This is a film where the house is as much a character as any others. It’s dark, neglected, and has obvious secrets that even it’s occupants aren’t aware of. As a lot of these movies, it falters as it tries to find a way to bring things to a close, so that it feels like it’s being forced into what the writer wanted instead of letting the story go where it wanted. I would’ve preferred being left in the dark than having answers to this story. But, it was still a decent watch and I’d recommend it for a lazy Sunday or a dark and lonely Friday night.
NOTE: Silent House is an American remake of a Uraguayan film, La casa muda (2010). La casa muda’s claim-to-fame is that it was filmed in 1 continuous shot – the first ever for a horror movie. Except, they didn’t realize when they made that claim that it is wide knowledge (in the movie industry, anyway) that the digital camera they used is only able to film for about 15 minutes continuously. I’m still anxious to check it out and compare it to the American.