Abed: The Film

by Katemandi, Last Girl on Earth

What would you do to keep your family alive?

We tend to think of the zombie apocalypse with pyrotechnics, unspooling in the crowded streets of big cities with ample armed forces in place to protect the citizens from the ravening hordes (at least at first). But what happens off in the periphery where people are left to their own devices?

From Familiar Productions LLC, director Ryan Lieske brings to life a gruesome little tale from acclaimed horror writer (and super-nice person) Elizabeth Massie. Abed offers a unique angle on the zombie narrative, one that focuses the horror on the human costs. In the interests of full disclosure, I should say that some of the folks involved in the film are friends and I was part of the Indiegogo project that funded its filming (and thus get a thanks along with all the funders in the credits). I think this will become more common as projects go direct to their potential audiences for funding and cut out the middle men.

For a film with a shoestring budget, it looks awfully good. There’s a texture and palette to the visuals that lends richness to the story. The acting is mostly quite natural and convincing, especially stars Rachel Finan (Meggie) and Daniel E. Falicki (Quint) who carry the film by providing its heart. I found Mama, played by Vicki Deshaw-Fairman, a little too mannered at times, but not distractingly so. There was an extra level of creepiness for me because it was filmed near where I grew up, so the familiarity of the landscape and accents made the story even more uncanny. Great make-up and art direction. The music by Tom Ashton enhances the atmosphere without ever overwhelming it.

I’ve watched a lot of horror films and find it rare to actually feel horror while watching one: Abed will fill you with horror. Like a lot of Massie’s tales it’s not initially the “in your face” kind, but subtly creeping up until you wonder how things got so bad. This is a truly unsettling story; not for everyone! Lieske and crew have done a wonderful job at bringing the story to life. You invest in the characters and believe in the lengths people will go to for the ones that they love. You’ll shudder. This film will stay with you. Well done.

It’s going to be making the rounds of festivals, so with luck news soon about distribution. Drop by their Facebook page for updates.

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