THE ABANDONED was one of the “8 Films to Die For” that screened as part of the After Dark Horror Fest last November. At the time, we were told that the audience favorite of the eight would get its own, separate theatrical release this year.
Since most of the After Dark films were pretty decent low-budget efforts, I expected THE ABANDONED to be pretty good, but I would up being rather disappointed. The movie does a great job of presenting its ghosts in a genuinely creepy fashion, but the writers need to go back to Screenwriting 101 and learn a few things about dramatic structure. Once they get the charactes in the haunted farm house, the movie is just a bunch of wandering around, with the lack of plot developments covered up by the occasional intrustion of a ghost. By the end, the whole thing pretty much falls apart with some goofy gore and a by-the-book “full circle” ending (the sort of thing unimaginative writers resort to when they can’t figure out a real ending.
Anyway, if you’re not too demanding, this might be okay for a discount matinee screening or a vidieo viewing, but I cannot imagine how this was selected as a “favorite” over THE GRAVEDANCERS or REINCARNATION or PENNY DREADFUL. Not that those films were perfect – or even great, but they had at least as much going for them as THE ABANDONED.
Anyway, there is enough that’s good about THE ABANDONED to make me think director Nach Cerda has talent. Maybe next time all the pieces will come together and he’ll make something really great, instead of just promising.