Combustible Celluloid
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With: Anastasia Hille, Karel Roden, Valentin Ganev, Carlos Reig-Plaza
Written by: Nacho Cerdà, Karim Hussain, Richard Stanley
Directed by: Nacho Cerdà
MPAA Rating: R for violence/gore, some disturbing images, nudity and language
Running Time: 96
Date: 09/11/2006

The Abandoned (2007)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Homestead Dread

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This feature debut from Spanish director Nacho Cerdà instantly sets itself apart from other horror films by focusing on a 40 year-old woman, Marie (Anastasia Hille) instead of the usual band of brain-dead teens. Learning that her mysterious, unknown birth mother has left her some property, the adopted Marie journeys to Russia, meets the twin brother (Karel Roden) she never knew she had, and gets stuck in a house full of ghosts. Cerdà quickly lets slip his woeful lack of skill with a curious, "arty" predilection for switching camera focus in the middle of a shot, as well as aggravating, jerky camerawork and jumpy editing. The film gets away with one or two good scares, but the circular, "surprise" ending is nonsensical and unsatisfying. (Note: The Abandoned was not screened for the press, so it too me a week to catch up with it.)

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