Sunday, April 6, 2014

{Movie} Review: Absence (2013)

Absence (2013)Starring:  Erin Way, Eric Matheny, Ryan Smale
Expectant mother Liz wakes to find her nearly-to-term pregnancy has disappeared overnight. When doctors can find no medical explanation for the loss, police treat Liz and her husband Rick as prime suspects in what has now become a missing child case. Only Rick and Liz's brother Evan trust her version of events. As word spreads, the young couple is subjected to the unwanted attention of the police and prying neighbors. Evan feels for his sister and, as a film student, begins documenting her story. Even though he can't prove Liz's innocence, he sets out to tell her side of what happened and to set the record straight. To relieve some of Liz's grief, Rick and Evan take her on a vacation to the mountains. Evan meets a local girl named Megan and the two hit it off. Things begin to settle down and Liz's spirits even start to improve. But as Evan continues documenting their vacation, unusual patterns arise. Liz still has no real answers for the disappearance of her baby despite his interviews and questions. Evan and Rick are horrified when her condition visibly declines. No one can ignore the fact that something is very wrong with Liz. When the trip spins out of control they realize that whatever happened with Liz and her baby isn't over. None of them are safe.
My thoughts:
The movie starts with some scary “facts”.  If this is not just for cinematic effect, it must be the most scary and invading kind of crime.  Our story starts with a cesarean theft.  Liz is seven months pregnant and she is the victim of a violent infant kidnapping (also known as Fetal abduction).  I have heard of some cases where a “baby” has been stolen out of their mother’s body but I have not heard of the mother surviving.  That in itself is a terrible image. 

The whole movie is part of the sub genre of “found footage” movies that was such a hit for a while (and that I am a huge fan of!).  I do not want to say more about the plot because it will be impossible not to give spoilers, so just read the blurb above. 
I thought the love between Liz and her brother Evan was beautiful.  Liz has raised Evan even since their parents died when he was twelve and I could feel Evan’s anguish trying to make Liz smile and forget about the last few weeks (if that is possible).  For a while, Erin became more than a shadow of her former self and she was such a sympathetic character – loved her.  

This movie was all about the relationships.  The love between Liz and her husband was gentle and convincing and as I already mentioned, Liz and Evan really connected on screen.   The action comes in little bursts but this movie is all about dialogue.  
I LOVED it and would recommend it highly for a little distraction.

Edited 04/05/2014 - Available on Netflix


  1. I'm a bit confused - if Liz's baby has been stolen, how is that doctors can't find any medical explanation? Can't they see that a caesarean has been performed?

    That is horrific though; I've never heard of a baby being kidnapped before it was even born. Certainly makes an intriguing premise for a story, and I'd also be interested in the psychology of a person who would commit such a crime.

    How scary would you say this is? It sounds a bit more like a drama with a bit of horror.

    1. You are right, this is more of a drama with little bits here and there designed to scare you thrown in. Personally I would not classify it as horror but that is what IMDb says. I am not usually a big fan of dramas but this movie just grabbed me.

      The movie starts with Liz being in hospital. There are never any scenes of the crime - you are not sure if there are actual cuts on her body and if it is a "supernatural" crime as there are never any reference to it later in the movie. This is a "found footage" movie, there is never any explanations of anything, the events are just shown to you (which I just love!).

      I have to admit that I watch a lot of "crime tv" :) and I have seen "real crime cases" of babies being stolen out of their mother's body, so I do know that it actually happens but still the movie takes it up a step.

    2. Hmm, no explanations? I find that that can either be very intriguing and unnerving, or just frustrating.

      I read about some foetal kidnappings on Wikipedia - it's really creepy. There was one case where the kidnapper killed the mother and then cut her open with car keys to get the baby. And in almost all cases the kidnapper/killer is a woman with childbearing issues... Fascinating and so, so horrific.