A Review by Judy Furlow Grannas ©2012

 Actors: Katie Parker, Courtney Bell, Dave Levine, Morgan Peter Brown, Justin Gordon, James Flanagan, Scott Graham, Doug Jones

Director and Writer: Mike Flanagan
Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
Language: English, French
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Phase 4 Films
DVD Release Date: March 13, 2012
Run Time: 91 minutes


(Plot summary from website) Tricia’s husband has been missing for seven years. Her younger sister Callie comes to live with her as the pressure mounts to finally declare him ‘dead in absentia.’  As Tricia sifts through the wreckage and tries to move on with her life, Callie finds herself drawn to an ominous tunnel near the house. As she begins to link it to other mysterious disappearances, it becomes clear that his presumed death might be anything but ‘natural.’ Soon it becomes clear that the ancient force at work in the tunnel might have set its sights on Callie and Tricia…and that Tricia’s husband might be suffering a fate far worse than death in its grasp.

I’m a big horror fan and have become incredibly jaded by the so-called “horror” movies that Hollywood  has force fed the public and so I tend to seek out independent flicks believing that there has to be a good one out there.

And I found it. 


I stumbled upon “Absentia” on Netflix last week and was captivated by the film from beginning to end. The movie focuses on two sisters, one pregnant with a missing husband, and the other a recovering drug addict in town to help her.

Tricia (played wonderfully by Courtney Bell) is very pregnant and lonely, searching for her husband that disappeared seven years earlier, and is still finding difficulty moving forward with her life. She is visited by her fresh-out-of-rehab sister, Callie (another talented actress) in hopes to pack up the memories and to move on with a new life. Tricia has spent years looking for her husband and is convinced by a friendly detective (Dave Levine) to declare her husband “dead in absentia”. Callie, wanting Tricia to move on, assists her sister with the process and searches for a new apartment, and new life, for both of them. Callie likes to jog, and, likes to jog through the creepy tunnel that’s close to the house. Covered in graffiti, damp and dark, there is nothing really unusual about this tunnel with the exception that all the disappearances around the area may be linked to something in there. And, when she discovers that there is a connection, it may be too late for them all.


I do not want to give anything away about this fantastic movie. All of the acting is very good as well as the writing and direction. One of my favorite points of the film is that the actors are real, average people. Dressed in casual clothes, with average hair and looks, none of the characters are portrayed by over-the-top glamorous, unbelievable people. It was absolutely refreshing to me to see a movie that I could visualize myself in, as well as my next-door-neighbor, and my neighborhood. The director’s use of settings and actors made me believe that this shit could happen to anyone and anywhere. Thank God that more effort was put into telling a good horror story than in who looked more beautiful or handsome. Also, it wasn’t youth obsessed. I find it very discouraging that the majority of horror movies are built around young, attractive teens or twenty-somethings that don’t have much going for them, but to worry about what designer label to wear or whose going to get laid. Directors and studios please pay attention!


Also, the story telling is top notch. The movie is a bit slow at the start, maybe unnecessarily, but when it picks up it’s quite a ride. Every aspect of the plot is informative to each character’s theory as to what happened to the missing husband. The method the director uses as possible reenactments which I thought was unique in letting the viewer see into the mind of the victim as well as the person trying to figure out what went wrong, is subtly powerful. It’s something we all do to imagine how an event may have occurred.

 “Absentia,” is one of the best horror films I have ever seen, regardless of the amount money spent to make it. This film pulls you in and leaves you feeling unnerved at the possible outcome of entering a tunnel and is definitely a must see.



You can check it out and pick it up HERE.

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