Back in 2011, a little film entitled Absentia by an unknown director and filled with an unknown cast became a favorite of horror fans. Its deliberately paced plot and its atmospheric mood was timed just right when horror was in flux. Film series like Saw had wound down and more moody films like Paranormal Activity and Insidious were filling the void. Absentia, through VOD and disc, in some ways felt like a “cousin” to those films and yet fans weren’t sure how to categorize it.
However, in 2014, director Mike Flanagan’s new film, Oculus, was picked up for major distribution and fanned out across the land as a major motion picture release. Like many such films though it wasn’t the major hit folks had hoped however with its budget of only $5,000,000 and starring fanboy favorites, Dr. Who’s Karen Gillan and Battlestar Galactica’s Katee Sackhoff, the film made a tidy if not overwhelming profit.
Dark Discussions talks about this new release which was generally well received by critics if not the Insidious/Conjuring crowd that it was marketed to. No matter what one thinks of the film and whether its success was tepid, director Mike Flanagan has proven with this follow up to Absentia he has arrived as an important individual in genre cinema.