THE ABANDONED (2015)
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Spooky flick has a woman named Julia (Louisa Krause from Ava’s Possessions) taking up an overnight security job at a large abandoned building. She is stuck with a bitter and cynical partner, Cooper (Jason Patric of Lost Boys), who is confined to a wheelchair. When on patrol in the lower levels, Julia discovers a doorway to an unmarked, underground section of the building. Hearing noises from within, Julia opens it and discovers a catacomb-like series of rooms and hallways leading to some sort of abandoned hospital or asylum…and she also discovers they may not be alone in the building and she may have just let something out.
Supernatural thriller may not be totally successful with what it sets out to do, but has some spooky moments and imagery and is unsettling enough. It’s atmospherically directed by Eytan Rockaway from Ido Fluk’s script and while a lot of it feels familiar, it is well done and provides some effective chills in the telling of it’s haunted building story. Rockaway makes good use of the location and fills this abandoned building with hallways and tunnels drenched in shadows and shares with the audience the sensation that with any wrong turn, one could easily become lost. The more Julia digs into the past of the building and into it’s lower levels, we discover a tragic story of abandonment and abuse that is prime to evoke restless spirits. We have seen it before, but it still has effect here. It also leads somewhere we are not expecting and it does resonate when we get there. It’s not perfect. It takes a while to get spooky and sometimes all the wandering down dark hallways gets repetitive. Cooper’s initial animosity towards Julia is a bit cliché and starts to get a little annoying, too, till they bond over Julia’s discovery and the ensuing investigation…most of which Cooper is opposed to.
Except for Mark Margolis’ homeless character, it’s pretty much all Krause and Patric and they work well together. With this and Ava’s Possessions, Louisa Krause is proving an actress to watch. Her Julia is obviously someone with her own issues and she is stubborn and yet anxious to do well here. She isn’t willing to compromise her beliefs, or her compassion for others and she and Cooper butt heads on the subject of leaving homeless people out in storms, or investigating behind closed doors when it sounds like someone might need help. This is where Krause gives Julia her stubbornness and her empathetic nature, which make her very likable. Patric comes across as a bit of a jerk, at first, but as we get to know Cooper, the veteran actor gives life to the reasons Cooper is the way he is, as the script reveals those reasons. We come to like Cooper despite our initial introduction to what appears to be a bitter and unhappy man. Good work from the teaming of a veteran actor with a new talent.
In conclusion, this is an entertaining enough supernatural thriller. There are some spooky scenes, an unsettling atmosphere and a really cavernous abandoned building to set those in. There is a slow reveal mystery that may tell a story that is nothing new, but it does come to an affecting and interesting conclusion. There are good performances from it’s small cast and some creepy things that go bump in the night, too. Worth a look as uses it’s familiar elements very well.