Before last year’s Marmite horror film, Oculus, writer-director Mike Flanagan brought this weird little film.

It centres on Callie – the wild one visiting after a long absence – and her sister Tricia, who’s about to declare her missing husband ‘dead in absentia’ following his disappearance seven years earlier.   As Tricia prepares to file the paperwork, strange things begin to happen and when Callie starts digging she finds out about other local disappearances that seem to involve a nearby underpass.  I feel like I want to say “dot, dot, dot” now, because I don’t want to give anything away for those who might want to see this one.


So, I really want to be positive about this one because, while far from perfect, I think they did a bloody good job considering it only cost $70,000, which is peanuts!  The story is intriguing and mysterious, and unlike many horrors, it doesn’t spoon-feed you all the answers.  Knowing this film had such a low-budget, I’m not going to slam it for the poor production values: I didn’t even mind that very much.

Callie in the spooky underpass

Callie in the spooky underpass

But…And it’s a big but… The acting is universally abysmal.  Seriously, the two girls can’t act for toffee and the detective wouldn’t be able to act his way out of a wet paper bag.  I really feel I should emphasise that the acting is REALLY.  VERY.  BAD.

25 responses to “Absentia

  1. The IPC is constantly going on about this film. Nice review. I always have mad respect for films that are passable on tiny budgets like this. Pretty impressive stuff.

    • It really is impressive. As I said, I’ve seen plenty of films that weren’t this good in spite of having MUCH bigger budgets. I think these guys did a good job.

  2. I liked Absentia a lot, and I remember saying when I watched it that I would like to see what the director could do with a big budget. Now I got my wish with Oculus, but I haven’t gotten around to watching it yet!

    • Oculus seems to be a very dividing film. Some of us LOVE it (like me) and some people forget how good the film is because they don’t like the ending – which didn’t bother me a bit – so they say they hate it. It’s not really a horror – more of a psychological thriller…

      • Lol! The ending is important, dude. It can ruin the entire film if not done right!!!!

        Btw – you didn’t tell me THIS, Eric!: “Before last year’s Marmite horror film, Oculus, writer-director Mike Flanagan brought this weird little film.”


        Nice review, Laura. Eric talks about this ALL the time. Especially on Twitter. So I don’t think I need to see this now as I know so much about it. Lol. ; )


      • Damn it! I was at work when all this was going on, so I missed out. I love to start a debate, so this is no problem at all! I liked Absentia, in spite of its flaws. As for naff endings… sometimes they really spoil it for me. Like, if the film has been good all the way through and the ending makes a mockery of the premise/events/characters, that’s a total ‘fuck you’ to the audience, as far as I’m concerned. If I simply don’t like it, or if I wanted a different ending, that’s not quite the same.

        Absentia was kind of frustrating because the ending was so open, but in this instance, I kind of liked that.

      • Hehe. You missed so much while at work. ; ) I always do too – can’t look at blogs while I work & always wonder what I’m missing! As for bad endings…. YES! Exactly what you said! I hate ones that feel like a “fuck you” to the audience. Ones that make you feel like they just wasted two hours of your time. THAT pisses me off. I don’t mind an open ending – sometimes those are the best kind. : )

      • I totally agree. I don’t necessarily mind an open ending that I can interpret in my own way, but what really annoys me are those films where the ending makes a total nonsense of everything that preceded it.

        These include mysteries where the killer is introduced right at the last minute, even though we’ve spent 90 minutes guessing whodunnit, from the characters that were on screen before the final 5 minutes.

        I also hate the “it was all a dream” or “oh, look, I have multiple personalities, and it was one of those other guys who did it”. Talk about lazy!

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