Movie Review: The Abandoned (2006) – Unearthed Films Blu-ray

April 6, 2024

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Russia, 1966: a lady, who has been fatally wounded, drives pell-mell onto a farmers property where she up and croaks… but the jeep she hauled ass in contains two other, very much alive, passengers… twin infants…

Before you can say “What the fuck?” we flash forward 40 years and California-based  film producer Marie Jones (Anastasia Hille, The Awakening) travels to Russia to seek answers about her true family after growing up with adoptive parents.

Of course Marie is one of those twins mentioned up yonder, and soon she schleps her way to her ancestral home; a secluded, severely dilapidated, haunted-looking as all fuck, arcane abode which is home to a soggy, ghost version of Marie that appears from time to time.

After some horror biz, our heroine discovers her long-lost brother Nicolai (Karel Roden, Hellboy, Orphan) has also made the scene, and together they begin to piece together the mystery of their past while dealing with the ghost versions of themselves… and they have plenty of time to do it too, as they simply can not leave the house and it’s deep woods environs!

Will the sibs survive their supernatural ordeal, or will that monstrous manse be their final resting place?!

Originally released as a selection of (the very much missed) After Dark Horrorfest, Director/Co-Writer Nacho Cerdá (The Machinist), along with Co-Writers Karim Hussain (Subconscious Cruelty) and Richard Stanley (Hardware, Color Out of Space) deliver an atmospheric knock-out of a supernatural shocker with The Abandoned!

Despite dealing in some tried and true horror biz tropes, The Abandoned is a wonderfully gloomy and dreary Gothic horror throwback (the woman with a mysterious past searching a large, shadow and ghost  filled house full of dark family secrets clinches that deal but good), and it truly engages the viewer throughout as we follow along on all of the twists and turns Marie’s origin story presents to us.

Part of the reason that the above works so well is thanks to the performances of Hille and Roden who deliver strong, at times emotional, performances that sell the preternatural goings-on while delivering the gravitas needed to keep things somewhat grounded.

Another plus is the lush, if at times eerie, countryside of Bulgaria (standing in for Russia) and the masterpiece of gnarly rot that is the house itself; both set the tone perfectly, and the muted color palette utilized makes it all the more effective.

Besides providing an excellent transfer that makes all of the above look like demonic dynamite, the fine folks over at Unearthed Films have stacked this Blu-ray release with plenty of bonus content to enhance your viewing pleasure!

First comes lengthy interviews with Cerdá, Hussain, and Stanley (wherein we learn about the film’s genesis, themes, and more… ), followed by featurettes detailing the film’s production along with more conversation from Cerdá.

After that comes a treasure trove of cut material from the film including; alternate cuts of scenes, alternate endings, deleted & extended scenes, and an outtake reel.

Lastly comes a promotional gallery, a look at the film’s storyboards, and five versions of the picture’s trailer.

Gothic, eerie, atmospheric, and at times deeply disturbing, The Abandoned is one hell of a fright flick that shouldn’t be missed by lovers of paranormal pictures everywhere!


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