Unique and calculated in scripting, Absentia is an early dramatic horror film from Flanagan that establishes the director's highly emotional studies of loss and grief. The twists are well rendered, the ideas are unique and unnerving, the actual scare scenes are minimal and of the stock sights/sounds variety, but the tone and atmosphere is eerie and creepy, if enigmatic, akin to horror authors Blackwood and Campbell.
A somewhat inauspicious debut for director Mike Flanagan, who has quietly become one of the most promising filmmakers in horror. While Flanagan takes after M. Night Shyamalan and Jeff Nichols by emphasizing the melancholy domestic drama at the heart of "Absentia," I question the decision to make such a high-concept screenplay (Lovecraftian monsters from a Dark Matter universe?!) on a shoestring, Kickstarter budget.
A beautifully understated horror/thriller/drama with great writing and fine acting throughout. This is low budget horror done right. I had stayed spoiler free and this movie sure took me for a chilling and engaging ride. Highly recommended!
This film was modest and humble with its take on a horror movie didnt need all the fuss and the build ups etc because to just place something scary in the mist of normality is just as haunting, The music and imagery was beautiful and still. Mike flanagan is a brilliant writer and director and its great to see that a director has the raw talent there with and without the budget.
This is a smart horror film. The characters are well fleshed-out and believable. The film keeps you guessing as to what is real and what is imagined. It does a good job playing with different perspectives. It's a very creepy film.
A minimal abstraction of dark reality chains its way through several people, drawing them into the void that is our awareness of those missing from our lives. There are some extremely clever ideas here and great lighting; so it's a shame to see the seeds of what would become bigger issues in Flanagan's work (penchant for visual over-explanation, dialogue issues, etc.) keep it from being completely great.