'The Absent' Movie Review

The Absent Movie Review
by Chris Wright, MoreHorror.com

Aspiring independent filmmakers are the future of horror. “The Absent” is from Sage Bannick. The movie is about two parents who try to kill their son Oscar for insurance money. Oscar kills them. Many years later Vincent (his brother) is a teacher and Oscar is being let out of prison. Vincent is fixing to screw up his entire career and Oscar takes it upon himself to not allow that to happen.

The movie essentially starts off 20 plus years in the past to Oscar and his family. The parents literally want to murder Oscar “by accident” to collect insurance money off of him. Oscar meddling around finds this out when his parents are past due on a lot of their bills. What a pair of conniving parents! Oscar takes matters in to his own hands and gives them breakfast in bed rat poison style. They drop dead and Oscar is arrested for killing his parents.

Flash-forward 20 years later, the brothers are very different despite being twins. Vincent Burton (Bryan Kirkwood) is a science teacher at a local high school. Oscar Burton (Denny Kirkwood) is just now getting out of prison. Vincent gets in to a bit of trouble of his own when he gets in to a romantic relationship with one of his high school students. Katie’s (Yvonne Zima) relationship is on the brink and falls apart with jock Carl (Jesse Gullion) when he cheats on her with another woman. The door is opened now as Vincent is already smitten with Katie as is. They end up having sex in Vincent’s parents old cabin and the wind is fierce causing a fire inside the house. Strangely, Oscar followed them both there and kills Katie and throws her in the cabin’s cellar while the police rescue Vincent.

At this point, Vincent is freaked out that Katie is missing (after he lied about her being in the cabin to save his own hide). Oscar is going around town literally killing anybody who may know anything about Vincent having a relationship with Katie. The absent list goes larger and larger as Oscar takes them out one by one. This all leads up to the final confrontation after the town and police force figure out what is going on. Vincent, Oscar and the policeman are in a final altercation toward the end. Oscar explains he did all this for his own protection and Vincent takes him out with a knife before the policeman arrives. The policeman shoots Vincent regardless of explanation. It ends on that note.

This movie does have its fair share of negatives. There are some random scenes that are nothing but filler. There was a couple of seconds at times I noticed pixilation in the camera. And I thought the opening was perfect. The ending was a bust for me. I thought it could have ended so much better than how it ended. It ended with the cop just killing Vincent after Vincent stabbed Oscar and that was it.

The positives were it was a pretty original plot. The actors and characters were fairly likable. The setting had some pretty gorgeous scenes. The gore that it had was pretty well done with essentially no budget at all. The title of the movie pertains to Vincent’s absentee list he has to scratch as absent with each passing day. I have seen near non budget films before and this is indeed one of the better ones. A pretty solid film can be made with hardly anything and this was a brighter spot to me. I recommend this movie for a watch. It’s a pretty good example for any future filmmaker who doesn’t have much money to show you can make a little go a long way. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. It has a 5.3 on IMDB.

“The Absent” (2011)
Directed By: Sage Bannick
Written By: Ari Bernstein, Damon Abdallah, and Sage Bannick

Starring: Damon Abdallah (Mr. Anderson), Sam Bell (Sheriff John Jackson), Jesse Gullion (Carl Pierce), Matthew Josten (Young Oscar), Timmy Josten (Young Vinent),Bryan Kirkwood (Vincent), Denny Kirkwood (Oscar), Yvonne Zima (Katie Anderson)

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