Wednesday, 2 July 2008


Nacho Cerda's THE ABANDONED turned up as a recent rental DVD on the excellent Momentum label. The film begins in Russia, 1966 with a badly injured woman driving two babies to a remote house. 40 years later, central character Marie (Anastasia Hille) is summoned to Russia with news of an inheritance. Marie decides to travel in the hope of building up a picture of her parents who put her up for adoption shortly after birth.

A derelict farm - one of this films key characters - soon takes on a life of its own as Marie explores the old family home in a effort to find any clues relating to her real identity. Forced to take flight into the nearby woods, Marie almost drowns and is only saved by the mysterious Nikolai (Karel Roden) who has also been directed to this house of death.

While the convoluted plot may prove a tad off-putting to some viewers, this eerie slice of Euro Horror proves to be time well spent with an abundance of sights and sounds that remain in the head for days after. Fulci-esque blind corpses stalking the grounds and interiors; glimpses of demonic figures just within the frame and several 'jump' moments all combine to fashion a more than decent ghost story. Cerda's main problem here is a script that is often confusing and rather reluctant to come up with answers. Still, Cerda does manage to tick quite a few of the boxes that are de rigeur for Euro spookers and, if like me you are sufficiently impressed, a second viewing will perhaps help clear some of the muddy waters.

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