Review: ABIGAIL HAUNTING (2019)
Back in 2017 writer/director, Kelly Schwarze gave us Alien Domicile. A very low budget tale of strange events in Area 51 it was an interesting if not fully successful film. And it did well enough that distributor ITN renamed a totally unconnected film to give us the faux sequel Alien Domicile 2: Lot 24. Now he’s back with a new film, a tale of more Earthly terrors, Abigail Haunting.
Katie (Chelsea Jurkiewicz, Stalker, The Crumbs) is finally free from her abusive boyfriend Roger (Christopher Brown). The bad news is that it took a bank robbery, a double-cross and an apparent double homicide to get her free. Now with a bag full of cash and nowhere else to go, she heads back to the home of her estranged foster mother Marge (Brenda Daly).
Her old friend Brian (Austin Collazo) tries to help her. The strange Walter (Michael Monteiro, To Kill A Cop) warns her to leave. It seems Marge is harbouring secrets of her own. Secrets that involve the angry spirit of Abigail (Taylor May).
The first time we see Katie, she’s frantically downing psych meds in a motel bathroom. She’s the typical unreliable narrator a film like has as a lead. What she’s experiencing may not be what it seems. The problem with Abigail Haunting, however, is it’s just what it seems.
From the slow burn first act to the creepy looking apparition and the terrible secret hidden in the shed, we’ve seen it all before. It’s handled efficiently enough, the ghost is creepy looking and there are some jumps here and there. From a technical standpoint, Abigail Haunting is well done as well.
But Abigail Haunting is something we’ve seen so many times before that it doesn’t hold any surprises. What should surprise or shock just happens as we expect it will. As soon as Brian mentions the shed Katie wasn’t allowed to go into, you know what’s in there.
I was hoping Schwarze would bring some of the creativity he showed in Alien Domicile to the haunted house genre. But he didn’t and as a result, Abigail Haunting is a well-made but uncompelling effort. It’s the kind of film that might make good background noise, but I had trouble staying focused on it.
Abigail Haunting is available on streaming platforms via ITN Distribution. You can check the film’s Facebook page for more information.