A seriously confusing ordeal.
filmfan09 - wrote on 05/16/09
The Abandoned is an admittedly stylish piece of work that's ultimately undone by slow pacing and increasingly confusing screenplay. Anastasia Hille stars as Marie, a Russian woman who embarks on a trip to the desolate countryside in an effort to uncover the true identity of her birth parents, as of course things go horribly wrong. One of the few positive qualities of The Abandoned is the creepy, atmospheric vibe you get while watching it. It's the forcefulness of style over substance that becomes more and more difficult to overcome as the movie progresses.
We the viewers are expected to care about Marie's unfortunate situation, but the movie fails to offer up a single reason to do so. As a consequence there is nothing propelling the film forward, particularly in the film's first half (which consist of of long sequences in which Marie wanders around in the darkness equipped with only a flashlight). The buried plot twist in The Abandonded tries to startle viewers into realizing that they've been fooled for part of the story -- but there really wasn't all that much story here in the first place. What should have been a straight-forward ghost story somehow becomes a seriously confusing ordeal.