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The Absent; or, is it a b-movie?

Often the hardest kinds of reviews for me, are for movies that fall somewhere in the middle. That is to say, I have an easy time reviewing obviously good, or obviously bad films. However, the dreaded middle ground is usually where I find myself, and this is of course the hardest kind of review to write. Long story short, The Absent is a film I knew I would have trouble reviewing.
For one thing, I can’t tell if this film is supposed to be a b-movie, or if, more likely than not, this is just a first time directorial effort. Basically, I’m not sure if this film was supposed to be tongue in cheek, or if it was meant to be taken a hundred percent seriously.
That’s not to say that The Absent, Directed by Sage Bannick, and written by Damon Abdallah, Sage Bannick, and Ari Bernstein is a bad film. It has a few really interesting scenes, and I really enjoyed the ending. However, everything comes back to the middle ground. The middle of this film seems to lose focus a little. I wasn’t sure whose perspective I was supposed to be in, which was clarified somewhat by the ending, but not really. I’m still a little bit confused about the beginning as well, about the motivation behind the killer. I won’t go into specifics, don’t want to spoil the film for anyone, but it seems like even the tiniest of explanations at the beginning of the film would have done wonders for the rest of the movie.
The Absent is short, only an hour and twenty minutes, which I loved. Too many films drag on to the two hour mark, and a lot of the time it just seems like they’re chock-full of filler. While I had problems with some of the scenes in The Absent, at least I never got the sense that filler was thrown in to pad it out for length. My only problem with this film comes down to perspective. I don’t know whether or not I was supposed to take the film as a b movie or not. I never know how to review b movies, but my gut tells me this wasn’t supposed to be much of a b movie, the only b aspects just come from individuals still learning their craft. If I did numbered reviews, I’d give this a three out of five, but often I feel giving a number to a film is lazy. So I’ll just leave off by saying that I enjoyed the film, though I was a little confused during some of it.
So if you’re in the mood for a movie that you’ll want to watch multiple times, if only so you can figure out what the hell was happening in it, track down The Absent. Then maybe you can tell me if it’s a b movie or not.

2 Responses to The Absent; or, is it a b-movie?

  1. I thought that the movie really shone in its lighting and cinematography…a lot of really interesting/attention grabbing shots.

  2. I really should talk about cinematography more, I just know so little about how to describe cinematography, as I don’t have the best grasp on the lingo. Maybe I’ll try it in my next one.


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