Absentia (2011)

Tricia’s husband, Daniel, has been missing for 7 years. Her younger sister, Callie, comes to live with her as the pressure mounts to finally declare him ‘dead in absentia.’ As Tricia sits through the wreckage and tries to move on with her life, Callie finds herself drawn to an omnious tunnel near the house that might also be connected to other neighborhood disappearances. Soon it becomes clear that the ancient force at work in the tunnel might have set its sight on Callie and Tricia . . . and that Daniel might be suffering a fate far worse than death in its grasp.

Starring newcomers Katie Parker (“Cut”), Courtney Bell (“The Figure”) and Dave Levine (“Chasing Happines”), “Absentia” goes against horror movie sterotypes. Once you think you know how the rest of the movie is going to play out, you’re thrown a plot twist that will change your way of thinking.

With a budget of only $70,000, “Absentia” premiered at the Fargo Film Festival with great reviews. “Absentia” went on to win numerous awards, including Best Actress (Katie Parker and Courtney Bell) and Best Actor (Dave Levine), Best Horror Feature Film at the Shriekfest and Best Thrill Award at Thriller! Chiller! Film Festival.

I’m not the type of person that gets easily scared at movies, but there were a few scenes that made me put my finger on the channel button on the remote. I would even go as far as to say that “Absentia” had a sort of “Paranormal Activity” feel to it in the way that it was filmed. Once you get used to the way the film was shot and you actually get involved in the storyline, its a movie that you’ll have to watch until the very the end.

Absentia is latin for ‘in the absence.’ In legal use, absentia means a trial at which the defendant is not physically present. In the movie “Absentia,” absentia is referring to ‘death in absentia,’ which is a legal declaration that a person is deceased in the absence of their remains.

In other words, if a person goes missing and they are never found for an extended time, then they are presumed dead. Amelia Earhart, Jimmy Hoffa and Natalee Holloway are examples of people whose deaths were declared ‘death in absentia.’ They went missing and they were unfortunately never found, alive or dead.

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