Maria Jones, a film producer returns to her birthplace in order to bury her mother’s remains in Russia. She visits her family farm where her mother gave her up to an American family, but now the farmhouse has other occupants. As the local Russian superstitions come to life Maria must confront her past to find out the truth about her family (Internet).
Once at her previous home Maria meets another man, Nikolai who claims to be her brother. Both people embark on a journey to discover their family origins only to find something much more dangerous and obscene. Nikolai and Maria fight the bizarre to reveal family secrets that might be best left alone (Internet).
Rating: Restricted for violence/gore, some disturbing images, nudity and language.
Release Date: February 23, 2007.
Starring: Anastasia Hille, Karel Roden, Valentin Ganev, Paraskeva Djukelova, and Carlos Reig-Plaza.
Director: Nacho Cerda
Writers: Karim Hussain, and Nacho Cerda.
In “The Abandoned,” one of the first things to stand out about this picture is the haunting music that guides the viewer through the story. Changing often in tone the score adds an overall eeriness to the film that heightens the suspense even during low action points. The music, when absent often hints at a change of pace or of scenery. Overall, the sound and music add some early chills to the picture.
The acting of both Maria and Nicolai, the central characters in “The Abandoned,” is believable not over done, and one of positive elements of the film. Anastasia Hille is an actress with some previous movie credits to her career, but most audience members are unlikely to recognize her. As well, Karel Roden is an actor of mostly Czechloslovakian origins with a confident, laid back approach to dialogue and physical acting.
Writers Karim Hussain, and Nacho Cerda of “The Abandoned,” uses a circular story line that can be frustrating to follow at times as the characters return to similar environments and interact with the same supernatural characters throughout the film. The film progresses slowly with periodic character reveals that create a mysterious, yet intoxicating feel to the film. “The Abandoned,” is a film that is very hard to turn off or turn away from; only the ending slightly disappoints. The writers chose to go for the emotional impact rather than story resolution, which may or may not make or break this film for viewers.
A great story with beautiful Russian cinematography “The Abandoned,” is a true gem, which despite being low in budget provides enough thrills to make this a worthwhile watch. Part of the 2006 “After Dark Films: 8 Films to Die for,” film selections “The Abandoned,” is a difficult find, but worth the effort and time to view. Watch it for the overall chilly tone and the climactic ending or for the fun of it all.
A trailer that sets the tone for “The Abandoned:”