Abandoned Dead is an early contender for one of the worst horrors of 2017. In fact it’s up there as one of the worst horrors of this decade.
Utterly devoid of entertainment with atrocious acting, horrible make-up & a story that barely makes any sense. Its short length drags to such an extent that it feels as though it’s triple the length.
Normally I wouldn’t start off a review like this but avoid this movie, avoid it as though it’s going to give you all kind of diseases.
Sarah Nicklin plays Rachel Burke, a night security officer who happens to be afraid of the dark. She also has just recently moved to LA, is a bit lonely & suffered a pretty traumatic experience in her past. We learn all of this in the space of 2 minutes as she receives a call from a friend.
Who needs decent character development when everything about them can just be spouted off in quick succession?
This opening driving scene also highlights one of the films many issues…the editing. Those involved were obsessed with switching shots constantly, often trying to give it an ‘artsy’ style that doesn’t fit the tone of the movie. It’s also badly put together as we see it change from dusk to night back to dusk several times while Sarah drives in conversation with her friend.
Anyway, Sarah is talked into spending the night at a closed medical clinic as the security guard on duty. It’s location in a run-down area plus the methadone they keep on site means security is important.
If you’re thinking scares on bar with something like Last Shift, you’re sorely mistaken. Most of Sarah’s scenes involve her slowly walking down hallways shining her torch. Something odd might occur & she pretty much dismisses it.
To try & sustain itself the movie tells another story that has very tenable links. A detective that is obsessed with narration & metaphors (someone saw Sin City) is investigating murders that have occurred around the clinic. He mostly spends the movie staring at paperwork & walking around the city answering random phones. It’s horribly done & by time the films resolution arrives your head will be in your hands.
The argument for why this indie flick should be given an easier ride seems to rest on the ‘indie’ part. That is unacceptable, cheaply made or not, a bad horror movie is still a bad horror movie. The complaints made here don’t lie with how cheap it looks, they lie with the nonsensical story, terrible acting & poorly done twist ending.
Sarah, as a lead is so unlikable that you won’t care one bit what happens to her. One particular scene with a pizza delivery man paints her in such a bad light that you’ll happily see her dragged off by demons or spirits or whatever is going on here.
The one positive I can say about Abandoned Dead are some of the musical moments. It works hard to add a layer of tension to scenes that have none. It doesn’t work but the attempt was at least admirable & it is the only memorable thing about this car crash of a movie.