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Dir. Mike Flanagan
Absentia doesn’t feel like an American horror film and that’s a good thing. It’s a minimalist drama about loss that happens to be a horror film. It is about adults with real world problems, who are trying their best, and have flaws. Tricia (played by Catherine Bell who also was a Line Producer on the film if that gives you an idea of how small it was), has decided to declare her husband, who has been missing for 7 years, dead. She is ready to move on, with the help of her born-again drug-addict sister, and start a new life. I don’t want to spoil anything-but, seeing as this is a horror movie, strange things begin to happen.
Despite an ultra-low budget (it was funded in large part by Kickstarter) it is one of the few American horror films that is as good as the best supernatural films coming out of South Korea, Thailand, Spain, or Japan. Like supernatural films from those countries, and almost unique in contemporary American horror, its purpose isn’t to scare you (though it has its very effective moments) rather to make you think, and at times, yes, even feel something.
It has an unfortunately repetitive score. But this level of ambiguity, emotion, and thoughtfulness are rare in horror films. See this movie-you don’t have an excuse, it’s on Netflix streaming.