Abandon (2002)


This is a movie that is so murky, so dark and so dreadful on the eyes that it’s remarkable if the viewer sits all the way through up until the last moments. There are a whole lot of nonsense here you have to sit through until you get to it, and by then you’re not surprised because you’ve either been so bored you gave up on caring, or you fell asleep. “Abandon”, despite its marketing, is a drama, not horror, not thriller, no sir. The worst thing is this tries desperately hard to pass itself off as horror or at least a decent supernatural thriller. Only by the second half does it tend to actually become a supernatural thriller.

First we must sit through endlessly dull dialogue, bland and very uninteresting character emphasis, and sub plots that mean absolutely nothing and have no clear relevance to the story. This includes the telling of Zooey Deschanel’s character’s back story that not only has her completely wasted as both a character and talented actress. She has nothing redeeming about her personalities in making the audience get to like her, and there’s also Gabrielle Union, and there’s Melanie Lynskey, both of whom have sub-plots have no relevance to the story’s climax.

Not to mention Charlie Hunnam as the enigmatic and incredibly pompous and obnoxious Embry Larkin who serves as a motive for the story. We never do manage to discover what interest and infatuation Catherine has with him, because he’s a truly despicable character. We never do find out if the male antagonist and character that the story revolves around disappeared himself, disappeared, or was killed, and that’s something the writer’s never explain to the audience, so we’re left wondering; that’s a plot element that can’t be excused because we can only assume about the main character Catherine Burke in the end and we’re left thinking about it with no satisfaction present.

The film has this notion that the plot is a lot more complicated than it should be when really it’s just another teen thriller with the guise of an intelligent thriller. Perhaps if the story was more compelling and the writers built up enough of the right tension for the audience, and perhaps if the acting was a lot better, this could have been good, but, man, it’s not. This is a dull, pretentious, and godly dreary pseudo-thriller that goes nowhere and doesn’t reach anything that resembles a point.