Absence is a Found Footage horror film by Jimmy Loweree based on the subject of alien fetal abduction. So often on this site I end up disagreeing with most of the ‘big time’ movie review sites – and it’s happened again! Before watching this horror effort I noticed that it had been slated by many a reviewer online and had an average score of about 3/10. In my humble opinion I think that score is total BS and only indicates to me that these sites do not understand the concept of Found Footage or horror one little bit!
Most Found Footage horror films are designed to drag on for the first half an hour or so and then slowly build up to something sinister – this film avoided that cliche with style!
We get thrown into the concept of alien fetal abduction within the first two minutes of this film and then it calms down a bit into more of a drama or story driven film. The camera switches on and we are immediately put into a hospital environment with some pretty dark stuff going down.
A couple have lost their unborn baby overnight and the doctors have no idea what has happened. The police are being rather heartless and harassing them on the subject before it all gets a little emotional and out of control.
The female lead’s brother is our cameraman through this journey and he’s a well thought out character played by a decent actor. They make him the ‘joker of the pack’ if you like and he’s constantly trying to cheer up a bad situation.
When the film resumes it is several months after the alien fetal abduction incident ( we do not know that aliens are the culprits at this point but by simply looking at the DVD cover you get the idea they are! ).
The couple who have lost their child and the brother are going on a trip to the wilds to stay at a cabin in the woods. It’s meant to be a period where the couple can go and reflect on things without the constant attention of the media.
All three characters seem to interact with each other really comfortably and are very believable. The brother does a great job of constantly winding up the husband and cheering up his sister in the process. The husband seems a little pissed with the brother’s ‘funny guy’ attitude and the interaction or ‘ribbing’ between the two works well.
Slow Build up
After the initial heavy scene in hospital the story tends to slide away from the subject of alien fetal abduction as often as it can. There are separate video interviews with the sister and her husband where they go through what happened that night in detail but other than this the story sticks to a character driven format.
We learn that the sister was 7 months pregnant when she lost the baby and she was expecting a girl – she simply woke up and the baby was gone! These segments of the video diary are really quite moving and acted out extremely well – they give the story substance and again are very believable.
Things Ain’t Right
Ever so slowly the story starts to show us things that are a little ‘off’. The sister is constantly getting nose bleed attacks and there are one or two sightings of bright lights off in the distance within the forest.
It’s not ‘in your face’ terror at this stage of the movie – it is set up very well to keep you guessing but not to draw your attention away from each personality.
We see dead fish washed up at the local lake and the car and cabin’s light’s die out a couple of times but these are relatively quick scenes thrown into longer separate story lines – I thought it worked really well!
As with ALL Found Footage films this effort is building up to something big – we know that from the first few scenes when we become aware of the possible alien fetal abduction.
This film does not disappoint on this front – it delivers but in short bursts! A sudden night-time camera shot shows the brother being freaked out by a short figure on the porch of the cabin. He immediately assumes it’s his brother in law playing a trick on him and shouts out his name – the brother in law walks down the stairs………
There are sudden night-time scenes of blue lights around the cabin and screaming before we are thrown into a morning scene where nobody remembers the night before…….
You get the picture here right?
It’s difficult for me to go into any more detail here as this is a really good film that could easily be spoiled by my big mouth ( we don’t do spoiler alerts on this site! ).
The subject of alien fetal abduction is a new and refreshing idea for a Found Footage horror and it works out really well. I thought the film was well made, atmospheric, thought provoking and believable.
The actors were decent professionals and this made the characters shine through a lot more than usual. For once I actually cared about what was happening to them and where the story was going. Far to often I have come across a great Found Footage idea being ruined by actors the director found on street corners – this was not the case here!
Don’t believe the hype guys – this alien fetal abduction film is well worth your time and is a ‘higher end’ effort in this genre. Again I have to point out that a lot of these online reviewers spend most of their time watching Jennifer Aniston films and therefore know nothing about the workings of a horror film.
If you have anything to add to this film review then please leave your opinion in the comment section of this page…….