Abominable (2006)
Abominable (2006)

Genre: Horror Running Time: 1 hr. 34 min.

Release Date: April 10th, 2006 MPAA Rating: R

Director: Ryan Schifrin Actors: Matt McCoy, Haley Joel, Christien Tinsley, Karin Anna Cheung, Jeffrey Combs, Lance Henriksen, Natalie Compagno, Ashley Hartman, Paul Gleason, Tiffany Shepis

 


 

E

thel (Dee Wallace Stone) and Billy Hoss (Rex Linn) hear strange noises coming from outside their home. When they rush into the yard to investigate, they discover one of their horses ripped to shreds. And then their dog Sparky runs off into the lightless perimeter of the forest to succumb to the same fate. As the couple shakily returns to the safety of indoors, a hulking monstrosity saunters up to the porch, leaving tremendous footprints in the fresh snow, before disappearing again into the darkness.

The next morning, Preston Rogers (Matt McCoy), escorted by orderly Otis Wilhelm (Christien Tinsley), takes a weekend trip up into the tree-covered mountains of Flatwoods, following the recommendation of his doctor. Ever since a traumatizing climbing accident on Suicide Rock, which saw the death of his wife and the loss of the use of his legs, Rogers has been unable to cope. Disturbed and anxious, the revisitation to his vacation cabin is sure to bring back troubling memories, unwelcome solitude, and insufficient peace and quiet – even if the doctor ordered it. Sure enough, mere seconds after Otis drops him off and heads back into town for some soy milk, a fivesome of college girls noisily drives up to the adjacent cabin, ready to party.

With this group of fit, attractive women comes Preston’s “Rear Window”-like sense of voyeurism, as he rolls throughout his house with his binoculars trained on the girls’ bathroom. “What you lookin’ at, you perv!” When night falls, and Otis still hasn’t returned, Rogers beams his flashlight into the dense brush, discovering not only blonde Karen’s (Ashley Hartman) dropped cell phone, but also a pair of beastly eyes glaring back at him through the mass of branches.

Adopting the “less is more” sensibility, writer/director Ryan Schifrin (legendary composer Lalo Schifrin’s son) relies on swaying trees, looming silhouettes, the camera assuming the perspective of the “squatch,” and brief glimpses of the obscured monster shuffling back and forth to create suspense. There’s no reason to show the creature in full view when it surely won’t look convincing (though most of the makeup effects are good enough). Additionally, the boy-who-cried-wolf routine is utilized with Rogers, who can’t seem to convince his only ally that some thing may have abducted the new neighbor. Fortunately, McCoy is a competent actor with sufficient skills to keep the unbelievable plot from feeling too silly, even with subpar dialogue. “You’re losing it, man!”

Meanwhile, characters wander off alone, B-movie regulars make cameo appearances (including Jeffrey Combs and Lance Henriksen), blood-soaked aftermath decorations and gore effects substitute for visible attacks (until the third act, which embraces extreme violence and the creature’s stiff facial expressions), and Preston’s peeping pays off in the form of one of the girls taking a shower – visible from numerous angles, thanks to conveniently placed windows. And for some reason, leading lady Amanda (Haley Joel) has perpetually moist lips (or flawless lipstick). With the design of a slasher, the awkwardness of a low-budget monster flick, and the hilarity of a self-aware spoof of genuine horror, “Abominable” manages to be thoroughly entertaining, despite its moments of unintentional humor and the notably cheesy face and movements of the bigfoot. It may not have the polish of a more resourceful production, but it’s nevertheless a whole lot of fun.

– Mike Massie

  • 7/10