Review: Abattoir (2016)

Freshly added onto Netflix, Abattoir is a quirky haunted house comic adaptation directed by Darren Lynn Bousman.

The basis for Abattoir is a cool one; An investigative reporter’s family is mindlessly murdered in their home. Days after the incident, the house is sold and the murder room is gone; walls, floors, everything. This sparks a dangerous interest in the reporter and her police officer boyfriend and they soon discover the culprit behind the missing rooms and his evil plot to build the ultimate haunted house. There’s themes of ghosts, cults, Satan, and Hell- and that’s a long story short.

Had the movie just stuck to one consistent plot, it would have been much easier to follow and stay focused on. There were too many layers to the story; the story of the haunted house, the story of the reason for the haunted house, the story of the town where the haunted house was built, the story of what happened to the town, the story of the reporter’s personal baggage with the boyfriend, etc. All this was piled on and eventually thinned its way out towards the end; however it made the journey there a bit muddled and tiresome. The lead actress Jessica Lowndes was stunning, styled in vintage clothing and hair, and made the film’s setting seem way back in time, especially with a couple unexpected ‘noir’ shots thrown in for the hell of it.
Obviously since this a haunted house tale, albeit a unique one, there’s going to be ghosts. Unfortunately, there appearance was way too smokey to fully appreciate; they were nearly unrecognizable as human beings and just looked like man sized blurs. It could have been an opportune moment to make up for the lack of ‘horror’ so to speak but they missed out.

If you’re an established fan of Bousman’s work, this one is worth checking out. He has a way with making just quirky, off beat things happen and I enjoy it for what it is. If you’re seeking a horror thrill ride, you can pass.

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