By Ross Morgan (Los Angeles)
Sometimes the Dead Come Back
Hell hath no fury like a psychotic woman, and that rule takes no exception in the frightening new supernatural horror suspense thriller Abandoned Dead.
Rachel Burke (in an outstanding performance by scream-queen Sarah Nicklin) is a troubled young security guard assigned to a spooky run-down addiction clinic located somewhere in the bowels of Los Angeles, where she is left alone over a holiday weekend. Having established she has issues with both darkness and being left alone, she is perfectly suited to the horrors to follow.
But not so fast.
Director/Writer Mark W. Curran builds the terror slowly as the ‘slow burn’ story follows her through the corridors and backrooms to investigate noises and paranormal phenomenon that are increasing in their intensity.
An eerie radio broadcast from a sexy female DJ named Alexis Angel adds to the creepiness and contributes one of the many salutes to horrormeister John Carpenter.
Hearing noises coming from the walls and above her in the ceiling, Rachel realizes she is not alone.
Add to this that someone from the outside is pressing to get inside is a recipe for tension – and that tension ratchets up when a phone call from a troubled suicidal drug addict warns her she won’t make it through the night.
Terrifying visions of dead victims plague Rachel – while attempts to leave the clinic by foot or by car are thwarted both by outside forces and her own fear of the dark, she must face her demons and stand strong against opposing evil.
Further complicating her precarious situation are appearances by a suspicious caretaker (a scene stealer from Christopher Parker), a cadaverous little girl (Hannah Johnson), a murderous mad doctor (Robert Wilhelm), and monstrous sightings of various zombies and ghouls. Horror icon Judith O’Dea (‘Night of the Living Dead’) also puts in an impressive turn as a perceptive psychiatrist
While some viewers may be confused by the twisting plot, several viewings will unravel the mystery by clues placed carefully throughout, clues which are also being followed by an inquisitive detective (Carlos Ramirez).
Through the use of childhood memories and flashbacks (plus the wonderfully imaginative lighting, editing and camerawork of DP Robert Adams) Abandoned Dead manages to convey a sense of dread while effectively delivering elements of a crime-thriller, mystery, suspense and the supernatural – in an explosive mix of satisfying cinematic horror.
Abandoned Dead – Horror – 77mins.
Writer/Director/Producer – Mark W. Curran
Camera/Editing/Music – Robert Adams
Starring – Sarah Nicklin, Robert Wilhelm, Stacy Snyder, Judith O’Dea
Available on iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Walmart Video