Writer: Christopher Monfette (Screenplay)
Starring: Jessica Lowndes, Joe Anderson, Dayton Callie, Lin Shaye, John McConnell, Bryan Batt, Michael Pare
Plot: An investigative reporter teams up with a police officer to solve the mystery of why a seemingly good man murdered her sister’s family.
Tagline – He’s been expecting you
Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Such an Ambitious Idea
Story: Abattoir starts when real estate reporter Julia Talben (Lowndes) sees her sister and her family butchered in their home by a seemingly random man, joined by her on again off again detective boyfriend Declan Grady (Anderson), she learns that the house has be sold, with the murder room ripped from inside.
When Julia dives into the case more, she learns that her sister’s house isn’t the first one to be flipped quickly after a murder, she tracks the cases back to learn about Jebediah Crone (Callie) who was a cult leader in New English, with Allie (Shaye) filling in the gaps about what the cause was for.
Thoughts on Abattoir
Characters – Julia is a real estate reporter that wants to get into the crime side of reporting, she has been using the paper to search for her long-lost mother and is stuck in a relationship with a detective that isn’t going well. When her sister’s family is murdered, she learns of bigger problem going around and sets off to learn about the truth, which will fill in the answers she has been looking for. Declan Grady is the detective boyfriend of Julia, he seems to act like he is from a neo-noir story and will help her through the investigation even if he does leave her to do some on her own. Jebediah Crone is the man that holds the answers, with his motivations having a much bigger sinister motivation. Allie is the connection between the truth and what Julia discovers, she does fill in a lot of the blanks for her, while being a friendly host.
Performances – Jessica Lowndes in the leading role does everything right in the film, however with the pure amount required, it is hard to get the most out of her performance. Joe Anderson does seem to think he is a neo-noir style cop, which is a strange choice for the film. Dayton Callie gives us disturbing calm dialogue to everything that is happening, while Lin Shaye makes the most of her limited screen time.
Story – The story here follows a reporter that does in search for answers after her sister’s family are randomly murdered in their house, which will see her learn more about her past. This does seem like a routine investigation horror movie, it checks off all the boxes within the opening thirty minutes of the story, but everything because such a bigger idea within the last hour, which sees the ambition behind the story shining through on new levels. We won’t get into massive details to what happens, but this story will keep you guessing through the story and leave you more interested in the backgrounds than just what the characters are going through.
Horror/Mystery – The horror comes from the truth behind the murders, this will bring up plenty of violent crimes from the past and show how they are important to the plan, which does unfold the mystery being unravelled.
Settings – The film uses the settings to show us how the normal life can be turned upside and where the clues leave them, is such an ambitious idea, it looks brilliant.
Special Effects – The effects are saved more for the later part of the film, this does include the ghost like figures that being used for the shock value.
Scene of the Movie – What is in the woods.
Final Thoughts – This is a horror film that does seem routine to start with before it dives into something ambitious that will leave you wanting more by the end.
Overall: Bigger than Expected.