ABSENTIA is probably one of the best horror films of 2012.  After watching it though, I wasn’t sure whether to classify it as a creature-feature or a ghost film.  But it’s a heck of a good horror ride, either way!  I can’t remember the last time I ever jumped so much while watching a film.

If you are not familiar with ABSENTIA, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of the press release:

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 her with her life, Callie finds herself drawn to an ominous tunnel near the house.  As she begins to link it to other mysterious disappearances, she comes the the realization that his presumed death might be anything but ‘natural.’  Soon it becomes clear that the ghostly force at work in the tunnel might have set its sights on Callie and Tricia too.

ABSENTIA is not your traditional horror flick.  It is a clever, well executed thriller with a lot of punch.  And by punch, I mean it beats the crap out of you until you beg it to stop.  This is one of those films that grabs you from the onset and never lets go.

Part of what makes ABSENTIA work so well is the uniqueness of the story.  It draws from different primal fears that are imbedded into our psyches, including fear of enclosed spaces (such as the tunnel), fear of the dark, fear of the unknown, fear of loss, and death.  Each of these phobias individually is enough to invoke dread into certain people...but combine them all into a single movie, and you’ve got a recipe for sheer, unadulterated terror.

The biggest draw of ABSENTIA for me however is the way the film is shot.  The whole tone of the film is dark and foreboding, and this is accentuated by the shadowy scenes and dimly lit aspects within.  The result is a deeply symbolic, underlying resonance that haunts the film for its duration.  

There is no real gore to speak of in the film, except for the occasional dead body here or there, but there are some other special effects that look really good.  I won’t go into detail about what the effects are for, as that might spoil part of the film.  But needless to say, you shouldn’t be disappointed when you see them.

ABSENTIA is a definite Must See for your 2012 horror list.  You will have to check it out on DVD, as I don’t think there is a Blu-ray version, but that’s not a problem here.  Regardless of whatever phobia haunts your back-brain, there’s problem something inside this film that will haunt you.  Check this one out for sure.