‘The Abandoned’


A punishing dose of zombie Chekhov for lifetime Fangoria subscribers, the first feature by Spanish splatter maven Nacho Cerdà traps an American movie producer (Anastasia Hille) in the decrepit Russian farmhouse where she was abandoned 40 years before as an infant. Her only company is the fraternal twin (Karel Roden) she never knew she had—oh yeah, and their pasty-faced ghost-world doppelgangers, part of an endless-loop nightmare that has sucked the siblings back to the site of a grisly family tragedy. The relatively tame horrors on display here may disappoint fans of the director’s gut-spelunking short Aftermath, which made him an underground hero on the abra-cadaver circuit. Worse, though, is that Cerdà’s striking creep-show atmospherics, desaturated palette, and off-kilter editing are a style in search of a movie: The muddled Twilight Zone payoff here is hardly enough to justify a sluggish two-character round-robin of “Don’t look in the basement!”

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on February 20, 2007

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