Movie Review: “Absentia” (2011)

ImageAbsentia, 2011

A darkened tunnel is a powerful horror image– anything can be waiting on the other side, or lurking inside to make sure you never get there. It can easily play upon fears of the dark, claustrophobia, and the creepiness of urban decay, and monsters from the classic troll-under-the-bridge to modern legends like the Bunny Man have been known to live in similar locations.

The slow, moody Absentia adds a new reason to fear this common form of architecture. Seven years after the unexplained disappearance of her husband Daniel, Tricia Riley is preparing to get some closure by declaring him dead in absentia. She’s very pregnant, has a potential new man in the picture (the detective who originally worked on Daniel’s case), and is doing her best to move on with her life. Her sister Callie, a recovering drug addict who is also trying to turn her life around, moves in to help her through the process of letting go.

I know you’re thinking this sounds like a Lifetime movie. Would it help if I added that Tricia’s having disturbing visions of something that may or may not be an angry, vengeful Daniel, while Callie stumbles across a disheveled, bleeding man in the tunnel near their house who is shocked that she can see him and informs her that “it’s sleeping”?
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