Pete’s Peek | What evil lurks beneath the streets in the indie horror Absentia?

I’ve actually watched this indie horror twice now. The first time, I switched it off after some 20-odd minutes because nothing seemed to be happening – just two sisters talking about their woes (one of them wants closure over the disappearance of her husband seven years ago, the other has a drug problem). A couple of days later, I watched it again, this time all the way through. And I’m glad I did, as this is not your usual SFX-laden creature feature, it’s an unsettling little number that reminded me of those TV movies from the 1970s (like Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark and Something Evil), that gave me the shivers in my youth.

Callie (the former druggie) wants her sister Tricia to move on after her missing husband is legally declared dead in absentia. While staying with Tricia, Callie finds herself drawn to a spooky nearby neighbourhood underpass. As she begins to link it to a series of other disappearances going back decades, she suspects that the husband’s ‘death’ is also connected. The movie really picks up steam (after all the chick chat) when hubby turns up, still in the same clothes he wore when he went missing, but in a terrible state both physically and emotionally. Where has he been and what has happened to him?

Well, I’m not giving anything away by saying that there are some creatures living beneath the underpass, and they like nothing more than kidnapping people and using them as playthings. But we don’t ever see them. I don’t know whether this was a conscious decision or not by the filmmakers, but it kind of works. It’s the fear of the unknown that plays out here, rather than the usual monster vs the girl cliché. So, if you go into this movie with that in mind, then you might just get a kick out of it.

Absentia is released on DVD on 9 July, through Second Sight