January 19, 2016

VOD Review: The Abandoned (2016)

"Not a bad movie at all... until the ending arrived, slapped us in the face, and said "Ha ha, just kidding!"

What's not to like about a good Haunted House flick? A small group of people, alone in some sort of a remote or isolated locale, walking its shadowy hallways while being menaced by some pissed off ghosts?

That's the good stuff.

This movie is almost that, and in fact, it's exactly that for its first two acts. Then the final act arrives and it tries to explain what's going on, and ends with the worst kind cop-out that a movie could end with... which we are going to fully spoil below, so beware.

It's such a shame when that happens.
Streak, which might be the dumbest nickname for a girl that we've ever heard, has just taken a job as a third shift security guard at an abandoned upscale apartment building. She's on meds, and is at risk of losing her daughter, so she really has to play this one smart in order to get her life back on track... which is why she doesn't play it smart at all.

Streak is partnered with an older, bitter guy in a wheelchair named Cooper, who doesn't have any patience dealing with new hires. They never last, after all, and so why get attached to them, only to have them quit a week later. When Streak begins breaking the rules (letting homeless people into the building, breaking into padlocked sections of the building) and telling copper that she's able to sense the presence of ghosts, he likes her even less.

Of course Streak's idiotic behavior gets both of them into all kinds of trouble, which leaves people dead, and a bunch of ghost kids roaming the halls of the old building, looking for vengeance. Or maybe it's all just an elaborate ruse. Meh.

The Abandoned is a competently shot movie that offers a decent amount of creepy moments, at least throughout the first two acts. Not only is the abandoned apartment building in which the movie is set a gorgeous location, but its twisting corridors and shadowy rooms make for the perfect setting for Supernatural shenanigans.

Jason Patric brings a level of legitimacy to this movie that it probably doesn't deserve, as without him, it would be just another run-of-the-mill Supernatural Horror flick with a shit ending. He was great though, and his co-star, Louisa Krause, wasn't bad either. She played crazy very well.

The biggest problem this movie faces is the ending, and what it meant for the entire narrative that came before it. When a movie like this, that bills itself as being scary, turns into something sentimental and emotional, it just kills it for us. What kills it even more is when that same movie ends in a way that negates everything else that happened throughout, using the old "It was all in their head", or "iI was all a dream" swerve. That just irks the shit out of us.

We were actually kind of annoyed that someone starting a new job would so blatantly disregard the rules of that job, and let homeless people in the building, break into locked rooms because she heard something, and act a fool in general. Especially when she needs that job to get her daughter back. Then again, the ending made all of that moot, so we're kind of bitching about nothing. 

I guess the worst part of a twist ending like that is that we we went into this movie prepared for chills and thrills, and instead what we got in the end was a distraught Dad sitting by the bedside of his comatose daughter, whose mind the entire movie just took place in. If I want some somber shit like that, I'll turn on the Lifetime Channel. Please keep it out of my Horror flicks.

Jason Patric is still awesome. Also, cop-out endings that negate everything that came before them really, really suck.

The Abandoned had a lot going for it, and if it hadn't have been for its "Oh come on!" type of ending, we probably would have enjoyed it more. We rate this one a C, because Jason Patric made it watchable for us, and because the things that it did manage to get right, worked fairly well for us.

It's probably worth a rent for most fans of Haunted House flicks, especially if they don't mind an ending that negates any and everything scary about the plot.


The Abandoned is available now on VOD.


We'd never abandon Louisa Krause.


  1. I felt the same exact way. The atmosphere and interesting story really had something going for it, then SPOILERS:

    A F-ing dream ending?! Insulting.

  2. Sadly, the explanations are ridiculous. I mean, why the hell did she even fall into coma? Because of toxic water?

  3. I am dying from laughter!!

    Good review....

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. it ever explained how or why Jason patric's character became paralyzed, did it?

  6. This movie was disappointing! The ending was TERRIBLE!

  7. ugh I did not understand the ending, searched the internet but it seems that nobody does... I am not usually critically of films but I really did not enjoy this one tbh!

  8. I think they were in an acvident of some kind and he was paralyzed and she burned. Just thinking out loud 😀

  9. I think they were in an accident of some kind and he was paralyzed and she burned. Just thinking out loud 😀

  10. I was very annoyed with the main character streak. Her irrational behavior brought out the demon children and put both her and cooper's lives in danger. Of course the ending negated all of this, but still. Also, I was kind of confused about the ending. They didn't explain how she got into the coma or why she was badly disfigured. You never see her mother so I wonder if that meant she had died in the accident. It's wierd that they would film a scene where she is talking to her mom on the phone, without seeing her for the duration of the movie. Lastly, if she had been a coma since childhood, how did she know what the doctor and the old man looked like in her dream? How would she know how to operate the security equipment and internet, not having any real experience with them before her coma. Its kind of creepy how she would dream about her dad wanting to see her change and coming on to her in the beginning. Lots of loose ends. However since the scene at the end pretty much rendered all the events null, it doesn't matter anyway. They could have gone in a much better direction with the film.

    1. I thought she was born disfigured, put away, drank the toxic water-put in coma. So the father doesnt work at hospital does he? He was wearing a security uniform. Movie totally confusing. But if anyone did gather more unfor or insight please share

  11. So frustrating. Her irresponsible actions brought this all on her and cooper. What's with the ending. No explanation why she was in the coma or badly disfigured. We don't hear from her Mom outside the initial conversation. How does she know how to operate the security equipment and internet? Creepy how she would dream of Cooper (aka her Dad) wanting to see her get changed.so many loose ends. Guess it doesn't matter when the ending pretty much rendered all event null. I found this to be a very obnoxious movie.

  12. I don't get it... Clara was her daughters name, but also the dolls name at the end? Was this whole movie a bunch of ghosts messing with her head? Did she even have a job interview or was it all a scam created by the ghosts to explain what happened to them... they just needed a hug?! Lol

  13. So the dad was wanting to see his daughter get undressed in front of him? Inbred

    1. You're right. I just realized that. But supposedly, all this was in her head though right? So she wanted him to see her undress. Interesting!

  14. Okay movie. The ending is confusing and dumb. I was left with a feeling of "why did I even watch this movie?" Definitely cannot recommend this one of you love horror flicks. All because of that ridiculous ending. Maybe a 3 out of 5 stars.

  15. i thought that it meant she was in acoma the whole time & this "movie" was her own odd way of "accepting" her disfigured face by hugging her child self, all in her head though. like a dream. she being kept alive due to her being unable to cope with her face. now that she has accepted it, she dies aka was now free. i don't know. just my thoughts.

  16. In contrast to the majority opinion, I judged this film to be very effective, and not at all guilty of foisting a simple 'it was all a dream' ending upon the audience. I can't help thinking that most of the critical reviewers weren't really paying enough attention, and maybe the film was just too demanding for a casual viewing audience. The resolution was more reminiscent of the Machinist, in that the events, while not occurring in 'our' reality, were the only reality that the protagonist had been left able to experience, and had been created in 'inner space' from her memories of reality, in order for her to find some resolution for her own self-hatred before she passed away. In years to come I believe this film will be judged more favourably than at present, and that most of the criticisms will be recognised as simplistic hair-splitting. There is a lot going on in this film, that a repeated viewing would help to clarify for those who were not paying enough attention because they assumed they were watching a run-of-the-mill ghost story, and were not up to the challenge of reframing the narrative in a different context.

    1. Your post definitely makes the most sense to me. I guess we're the odd ones out :) I just posted, it'll be up soon, but you got the flick too :) It's kinda cool how most ppl see things one way and a small percentage that I'm glad to be a part of can see it for what it was/is, and can read between the lines, see the colors...I can usually guess almost anything coming in a movie, or life even sometimes, but not this one! That's why I gave it 4 stars (out of 5) Kinda like shutter island...I like movies that totally brain punch you in the end. :)

  17. I gave it a 4/5 ... great movie, I don't like the scenes that are way too long like walking down the hall for 5 minutes with nothing happening..
    BUT... it was ALL A DREAM...and the ending implied there was an accident, father crippled, mother dead (which is why only the phone call to her mom)...also, dreams work in wierd ways, her dad was simply the "Co worker" (the one protecting her until the end) so there was nothing sexual about the dream, more like him being her protecter. Also, people in comas are known to hear everything, and her being obnoxious ad you all say show her child like self...I mean, no adult in their right mind would do what she did, especially first day, and getting her daughter back etc...Anyway I thought it was pretty cool. I'd watch it again just to see if I could connect more dots, but I knocked a star off for lengthy boring scenes and lack of, well, more, of an ending.

  18. My cookie's sore. Dwell on that ending.
    4 out of 5 stars.