Sunday, February 9, 2014

I "Loved It" Absentia: Watch it, love it, or get traded in for someone who will (that's an Absentia reference)

Absentia (2011) PosterThis movie is what Netflix is good for.

            Yeah, you want to see the blockbuster movies that everyone tells you to see, that TV and other movies tell you to see. I get that, I’m like that too, I wanna see those movies too; but there are other movies that don’t get that same treatment. The movies that are under the radar and are a bit more difficult to categorize, they’re a bit more difficult to know who to tell to see it so they don’t get recognized as much, and that’s where Netflix comes in.

            Netflix doesn’t have the a very large streaming selection of popular movies, no one’s gonna argue that, so what are you gonna do? Bitch and moan and watch nothing and talk about how you’re gonna drop Netflix because they’re not streaming the summer blockbuster movies that you saw and wanna see again, or didn’t happen to see and wanna see now? Okay, fine, you know what you could do? Give a movie that you haven’t heard of a try. Holy crap, Joshua Hampel, you just blew my fuckin’ mind! Yeah I did you llama, now go check Absentia out.

            The first thing that got me was the music. If you like Brian Eno then you’ll dig it, even kind of reminded me of Reznor doing the Social Nework soundtrack. I’ve told my wife several times, if the music is good – no matter how bad the movie is – I’m more likely to watch the whole thing. Music and how it sets the mood is important to the movie and this one got it right. A horror movie with cool and quiet music, totally not what you’d expect – but then again this isn’t a big budget horror movie, this is one of those guys that doesn’t have a big budget to rely on to keep people watching. No, this movie has got the story and the actors, and that’s it, and boy does it use it all to it’s maximum potential. The acting is pretty dang good, and even when it’s bad it doesn’t take away from the movie but more add to the sense of reality that this movie is based in.

            There isn’t much action, and when there is it’s not a huge dramatic event. This movie is based so hard in reality that no one is gonna be a major ass kicker, they’re gonna react just like us – they watch what is going on – not believing it’s happening and then afterwards unsure of what the hell just happened.

            The fact that the budget for this movie wasn’t as inflated as a Hollywood movie helps – I think – because during scenes like the action, or anytime the monster/insect is in the room, you don’t see much of it at all. The creature is left for you to imagine what it really looks like. The creature has a sound though, and that combined with the music makes me think that the people behind this movie felt that sound plays an important part in movies like this, and I would have to agree. There are other low-budget independent movies with monsters that you don’t see much of, but what you do see are teeth and eyes and skin and you hear growls and chomping, just all the usual stuff. It’s at the point where we don’t need to see the thing to know what it looks like – it looks like every other monster from every other movie we’ve seen.

            Not here. Here the monster sounds different, and I can’t say if it looks different because we see hardly any of it at all, but it certainly sounds different so in my mind it is nothing like any other horror/monster movie I’ve seen, this one is different, original, better.

            The scares in this movie are different too. They’re not loud jump scares with an even louder musical cue to let you know when to jump. None of that here. Here we just have shit showing up out of the blue (broad daylight, during prayers) and no scares where there normally are (closed shower curtains, jogging through a scary tunnel). This movie expertly keeps you guessing as to not only what is going to happen next but what is going on at all. Are these horrible things really happening? Or, thanks to a chillingly calm conversation between two detectives towards the end of the movie, can everything that’s been going on be easily explained? Flashing back through the movie while they talk you see that, holy crap, that could totally be what is going on, stuff is gone over again, conversations are replayed and you’re thinking – how fucked up would that be if that’s what is really going on here?

            My wife and I both watched this movie and we were blown away by how good it was. This movie kind of ruined us though as well because now we are looking for more movies like it. Good movies – scratch that, this is a really good movie – that will surprise us as this one did.

            The guy who made this movie has a new movie coming out called Oculus. I think it’s scheduled to come out on April 11. My wife and I plan on going to the theatre and check it out. Most people root for their sports teams, my wife and I root for our movie directors and writers and actors and this guy, Mike Flanagan, is a guy that we want to make more movies. I will admit that we were not impressed with the trailer for Oculus but we hold out hope that he will not let us down, and as I’m sure he’s concerned about his arts’ reception to a couple in Kansas, he’ll give nothing but his best.

                      Oh yeah:

                       Watch Absentia!

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