Abandoned Dead Movie Review
Written by Ryan Holloway
Released by Left Films
Written and directed by Mark W. Curran
2017, 77 minutes, Rated 15 (UK)
DVD released on 27th Februray 2017
Sarah Nicklin as Rachel Burke
Judith O'Dea as Doctor Pamela Myers
Christopher Parker as Hank Simms
Carlos Ramirez as Detective Phillip Haggis
Serial B-movie horror actress Sarah Nicklin (Nun of That, Atomic Brain Invasion) is Rachel, a tired security guard who, after working seven days straight, is convinced by her boss to guard an inner-city medical clinic on memorial weekend.
Cliché is the name of the game as the film begins with a phone call from a friend telling her that she’s been through a great deal but should get over it (mental health charities would have a field day with this bit of advice) and to ‘get laid for Christ’s sake.’
She’s also afraid of the dark which is surely a bit of an occupational hazard for a security guard, but hey, she’s working through her issues so good for her.
Three guards in the last month and multiple break-ins can’t deter our bored (not sure whether it’s the actress already dreading a lengthy shoot or some canny character traits) security specialist as she is shown around the premises and given a brief bit of not-so-subtle exposition. That it’s a bad neighbourhood is all we really need to know and this is stabbed home pretty hard.
Accompanied by a soundtrack the Eurovision song contest judges would lose their shit over, we are then forced to watch the surprisingly jumpy for a security guard, Rachel wander the halls and, like us at this point, question her existence.
As Rachel settles in for a night of mild terror we are then drawn into the world of a detective looking into a series of brutal murders. Our weary cop narrates his every thought to smooth jazz (sigh), at points likening his situation to the slowly unfolding story; “Feels like I’m coming apart... drifting.”
Cutting between the two stories that inevitably must come together at some stage the film tries so hard to be intriguing but sadly we forget to care about how the narratives form a whole and hope for something to actually happen.
As the night, and the film, limps on, Rachel is forced to endure such clichéd horrors as: strange phone calls, broken flashlights, a creepy pizza delivery boy and a hillbilly caretaker in denim dungarees, who seems to have wandered into the wrong horror film. "You oughta be inside ain't safe out here at night (spit)".
When Rachel orders a cheese pizza with pineapple this sets things off as windows and even the ceiling start to shake, proving that even the undead don’t approve of pineapple on pizza.
Pretty soon, we get a window into her fears through a series of flashbacks and discover that she was abused by her dad, remember her friend told her to ‘get over it’? Yikes, start looking for a new best friend.
As her flashbacks increase she starts to see increasingly nightmarish visions and hear voices which begin to tell us a deeper story, and once introduced to the clinic’s physician, Doctor Mayfield, there is then the potential for a slice of torture porn.
When the two narratives collide, and our Detective starts to see the truth behind the murders, the film reveals a twist that if you didn’t see coming, you’ll wish you had so that you could have saved yourself some time.
Never scary enough to be fun or clever enough to elevate it from its low-budget production, Abandoned Dead is definitely one to miss even though there is some humour to be had from the drama school acting.