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  • Writer's pictureMartyn Wakefield


Dir. Darren Lynn Bousman

Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield

Darren Lynn Bousman has a proven track record in the horror genre. Love them or loath them, but Bousman carried the SAW franchise in its early days as well as the angel worship of 11-11-11, he took THE SHINING into the woods with THE BARRENS and made musical horror cool again with REPO and THE DEVIL’S CARNIVAL. Now he’s got a new spin on the haunted house story and ne that will turn the director’s library upside down.

Teaming up with police detective Grady (Joe Anderson), journalist Jessica Lowndes (Julia Talben) sets about uncovering why the grizzly deaths of her sister and family occurred at the hands of a seemingly harmless man. While she deles into the case, she begins to learn that a collector is seeking the ghosts and haunting events to create a real-life house of horrors.

At its heart, ABATTOIR has a fantastic idea, but one that is poorly executed. The concept of a murderer who creates haunting events is a new take on the genre that is overcrowded, unfortunately the lack of any construction beyond an initial idea soon falls down as the film’s lack of any real foundations become quickly evident.

Talben does a stellar job as the distressed heroine but blurred between a 1930’s noir film and a Bousman-esque gorefest means that ABATTOIR is nothing short of a mess. The chemistry between the leads is as non-apparent as a ghost to a non-believer and furthermore, the reasoning for their nourish attitudes and appearance seem stranger than the films wafer thin plot.

A shame as Bousman is usually a good spinner of blending an original story with a visual feast for the claret, instead we have a butchered film that tries too hard to be different. A mission it succeeds in by being Bousman’s worst film to date and one that will not be splitting the minds of audiences with its lack of any redeeming factors. A story that will be the ghost of something much better.

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