Saturday, September 24, 2011


Everyday the news is filled with stories of people who have gone missing and as the immediate sensationalism has passed, their fates may never be known.  For those left behind, life becomes a waiting game on multiple levels, most importantly legally and financially.  Absentia, one of the five featured films at this year's Maelstrom International Fantastic Film Festival (MIFFF) tells one such story.  

Tricia's husband disappeared from their home seven years ago.  As her sister Callie reappears in her life, Tricia is preparing to have her husband declared dead in absentia.  Shortly after her husband is legally declared dead, Tricia begins to see her husband Daniel.  At first she believes it is guilt driven hallucinations for having him declared dead in order to access his life insurance to help pay her mounting debt and for being pregnant with another man's child.  But when Daniel returns home in a state of shock, unable to explain where he has been for the past seven years, a supernatural conspiracy involving the tunnel near their home and a series of missing persons spanning back over a hundred years, begins to unravel.

After Daniel goes missing for a second time, Tricia reaches a breaking point.  She disappears shortly after Daniel, leaving her sister Callie is left to answer questions of the police and of her self.  Callie begins to try to put the pieces together of the puzzle involving the tunnel and ends up joining the lost.

Absentia is an amazingly crafted story, made on a very small budget, which provides at its conclusion explanations for all the supernatural disappearances that are equally plausible.  The explanations are all supported by events previously disclosed and presented as alternate theory, not as a replacement of the main story.  This unique story telling tool is why Absentia is beloved by Filmfreak Mafia.

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