Friday, June 3, 2016

THE ABANDONED (2015) (Blu-ray Review)


Label: Scream Factory I IFC Midnight
Release Date: June 7th 2016 
Rating: Unrated 
Region Code: A
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1 with Optional English Subtitles
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (1.85:1) 
Director: Eytan Rockaway
Cast: Jason Patric, Louisa Krause, Mark Margolis

A slightly unhinged single mother named Streak (Louisa Krause) takes a night watchman job out of desperation, the new job is working the late shift at an abandoned luxury apartment complex, a creepy and sprawling setting for what begins as a creepy haunter. Her supervisor is a wheelchair bound man named Cooper, payed by Jason Patric of The Lost Boys. Armed with a headset vid-cam on her she makes her rounds through the cavernous hallways and rooms of the place while he watches from a video screen monitoring her movement and directing her throughout the building on her first night out. 

As the night wears on strange things begin to happen and the unstable single-mom begins to see and hear things, some of which begins when she ill advisedly allows a homeless man into the building for shelter from the cold and stormy night. The homeless man is played by actor Mark Margolis who has one of the most memorable crusty old-guy faces going right now, he has brought with him his dog, whom he talks to in a bit of Son of Sam sort of way. 

On her rounds Streak comes upon a rusty old iron door in the basement, when she asks Cooper where it leads he says he doesn't know and that they've been directed by their employer not to enter that part of the building... which she promptly ignores and heads straight into. Once inside the door closes behind her and the wheelchair bound Cooper must venture through the building to come save her ass when she realizes she has no idea where she is or how to get back to where she should be. 

While down there she finds more than she bargained for, namely some creepy kiddie drawings and a deformed figure in the dark which fill her with dread and terror, as does the dark past of the building which comes to light, it being the former site of a sanitarium for children where tragic events unfolded. The movie thus far has been a bit slow to be honest with some decent atmosphere, but once Streak ventures down into the darker parts of the building things get a bit predictable and what started as a nice haunting story of an abandoned luxury hotel along the lines of a low-budget version of The Shining becomes a haunted sanitarium story with a psychological horror twist, and I have to say that few things annoy me more than a haunted asylum movie. I feel that concept has been played out and mostly played poorly, the only sub genre that sinks my expectations more would be the onslaught of creepy killer clown movies, but thankfully there are no clowns to be found here. 

Fans of movies that incorporate found-footage aesthetics and isolated haunted asylum set-ups might enjoy this one for me it missed her mark, I didn't hate it but I found myself tuning out early on. I also was not impressed with a late in the movie twist which re frames everything you just watched at the last possible minute, which might work for some viewers but certainly not for me, not this time.  

Special Features
- Deleted Scenes 
- Alternate Ending
- Theatrical Trailer

The Abandoned is not an awful movie by any stretch of the imagination, but it did not win me over. It had a few strands here and there that I really enjoyed for a brief moment but the haunted asylum angle threw me off early, but I do give a lot of credit to actress Louisa Krause who was engaging as the lead, but the movie is not a recommend from me, this is a Netflix watch. 2/5