Movie Review: ABATTOIR

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ABATTOIR /’abəˌtwär/ noun – a slaughterhouse. Abattoir was directed by Darren Lynn Bousman from screenplay by Teddy Tenenbaum, David J. Schow and Christopher Monfette and stars Jessica LowndesJoe Anderson, Lin ShayeDayton Callie, J. Larose and Michael Paré. The movie is based on Bousman’s graphic novel. The score is by Mark Sayfritz.

An investigative reporter works to solve the mystery behind a mysterious man who has been buying houses where tragedies have occurred. Set in a world where it always feels like night, even in daylight hours, real estate reporter Julia Talben’s life is turned upside down when her family is brutally murdered. It is believed to be an open and close case, but Julia quickly realizes there is much more to this story when she returns to the crime scene to find the murder room deconstructed and physically removed from her sister’s home. This ignites an investigative pursuit that eventually leads her and ex-lover Detective Declan Grady to the town of New English where they find the enigmatic Jebediah Crone and the Abattoir – a monstrous house stitched together with unending rooms of death and the damned. Julia comes to realize that her sister’s soul is trapped inside, but the Abattoir isn’t just a house – it’s a door to something more evil than anyone could have ever imagined. Julia and Grady are ultimately faced with the question: How do you build a haunted house? One room at a time.

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First of all, I enjoyed everything about this fantastic movie. The story is a unique and original approach to the haunted house subgenre of horror and the movie itself is nothing short of a masterpiece. That’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it. I’ve enjoyed all of the horror movies that Darren Lynn Bousman has delivered over the years, but there’s something really special about this one because it’s one of those movies that you want to watch over and over again. The world that he has built sets off this timeless vibe and looks truly haunting. Everthing is so well done, from the rooms in these homes that mysteriously go missing, to the massive haunted house that’s ultimately assembled. Even the small town and the locals who populate it, there’s just this eeriness about it all and Bousman captures all of it on camera. Oh yeah, and there’s also some beautiful cinematography to go along with this. Even the special effects are extremely impressive and really help bring Jebediah Crone’s terrifying world to life.

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The cast was amazing and there’s several standout performances. Jessica Lowndes plays Julia who is determined to find the answers she’s looking for after her family tragically dies. Once the room in their house mysteriously disappears, this sets a fire for Julia to look for answers. She’s stubburn, driven and brave as she slowly enters into a much darker realm. She wants these answers and unfortunely she ends up getting them. There’s also Allie played by the wonderful Lin Shaye who always delivers and never disappoints. Her character is the only person in New English who welcomes in Julia but she’s also full of secrets. Finally, there’s Jebediah Crone played to perfection by Dayton Callie who is this mysterious host of horrors that collects rooms where these tragedies have happened. Each room is a piece of Crone’s puzzle and once it all comes together, it ultimately becomes his own personal Abattoir. There’s a powerful reason why Crone is doing all of this and it is ultimately revealed.

Bottom line is, Abattoir ended up being an absolute blast. It’s a unique haunted house movie with an amazing story that blends the classy look of golden age cinema with slick present day technology. It starts off as a noir crime-thriller/murder mystery that slowly morphs into a full blown horror movie by the final act. Even though the movie is sort of a slow burn, it builds momentum and suspense as the story plays out with a payoff that is well worth the wait. All is revealed in the end! Bousman captures the magic here as he tells this story, driven by these interesting characters. The movie introduces us to the mysterious Jebediah Crone and I would love to see more of his dark and terrifying world. I have to mention the incredible score by Mark Sayfritz that helps with some of the movie’s haunting scenes. This truly is the ultimate haunted house film and an instant classic. This dark fairy tale will haunt theaters, VOD and Digital HD on December 9th and is definitely worth checking out.

Distributor: Momentum Pictures

Run Time: 102 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

 

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