Absentia (2011 film)
"There are fates worse than death." A grieving woman and her drug-addict sister discover that a mysterious tunnel under the neighborhood is linked to the sinister disappearances of her husband and other missing people.
- Release Date: 2011
- Country/Language: US, English
- Genres/Technical: Mystery, Thriller, Horror
- Setting: Modern small town USA
- Runtime: 1 hr 27 min
- Starring: Catherine Parker, Courtney Bell, Dave Levine
- Director: Mike Flanagan
- Writer: Mike Flanagan
- Producer/Production Co: FallBack Plan Productions, Blue Dot Productions
- View Trailer: (link)
- TVTropes: (link)
- IMDB Page: (link)
- Rated: R (Profanity, Adult Content, Violence)
A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:
- SS___ (Two Tentacles: Barely Lovecraftian; could be a very loose adaptation)
A subtle little maybe-magic-maybe-mundane thriller filled with unreliable "narrators", hints of sinister monsters dwelling in parallel worlds, mysterious vanishings and reappearances, and an ambiguous intersection between madness, sanity, dream, waking, delusion, and reality.
Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.
- (needs review)
Spoiler Section (Highlight to Read)
The film leaves the audience with clues that can be assembled to hint at several less-than-completely-satisfying answers to what really happened. Assembled one way, the film is about a grieving woman whose husband has vanished without a trace, and her drug-addicted sister, discover that a mysterious tunnel is a link to some sinister disappearances. Just as the missing husband is about to be legally declared dead in absentia, he re-appears, traumatized and terrified after apparently suffering years of unexplained torture and neglect, and raises more questions than are solved before vanishing again. The woman and her sister begin experiencing bizarre delusions and hallucinations involving the perhaps imaginary insect-like "trolls" that might be living in a parallel world just beyond the tunnel. A maybe-magic-maybe-mundane thriller filled with unreliable narrators, hints of sinister monsters dwelling in parallel worlds, mysterious vanishings and reappearances, and an ambiguous intersection between madness, sanity, dream, waking, delusion, and reality.
Comments, Trivia, Dedication
- The word "absentia" comes from a Latin phrase for "to be away, gone, or missing", and from a Latin legal term "In Abentia", for a judgement made while someone is away or absent, specifically a declaration of Death In Absentia, in which a missing person is, after a time, declared dead in absence of any evidence that they are still alive. All of these uses of the word fit into themes from the film.
Associated Mythos Elements
- race: "Troll" (unseen and possibly hallucinatory, but apparently a tunnel-dwelling being living in a parallel world, possibly linked in some way to the insect known as a silverfish); compare to Faeries, Serpent Men, Worms of the Earth, Deros, Ghouls, and other such subterranean races
- location: the Other Side
- The investigators become involved when a man declared dead in absentia returns years after his mysterious disappearance, physically and psychologically scarred, with a horrifying story to tell about being dragged into a nightmarish netherworld beyond the tunnels under the small town where he lived....