Abominable (not to be confused with last year’s animated film) is a film that I know I’m going to watch more than once, but that isn’t to say it’s good.
Directed by Jamaal Burden on what is obviously a shoe-string budget, Abominable has a plot that is confounding, to say the least. It follows a military team that has been sent to investigate a remote laboratory in the mountains after a scientist goes missing. The team is forced to split up and head into the woods to get their electronic communication devices to work, a plot device so flimsy and unbelievable that almost every line of dialogue in the film consists of meaningless technological jargon backflipping over itself to convince the audience of the plan’s legitimacy. Unfortunately for our heroes, there is a ferocious yeti-like creature wandering around the frozen forest determined to pick them off one-by-one, in increasingly gruesome ways.
The film’s strongest feature are the effects. For such an obviously low-budget flick, the blood and gore are stomach-churning in the very best way possible. The violence is also well paced, with each kill increasing in intensity. Burden clearly knows what his target audience wants and has a good understanding of how to execute it (pun intended). While there are few jump-scares, those that are present demonstrate the restraint and careful timing necessary to be effective.
Unfortunately, these scenes are accompanied by an over-wrought score. There is no way around it, the repetitive and obtrusive music in Abominable will probably render the whole film unwatchable to some.
The music is bad, the dialogue is atrocious, and the basic premise doesn’t make a shred of sense; still, Abominable manages to endear itself. It brings to mind the movies that I used to watch with my friends in university, best enjoyed very late at night (preferable with very cheap beer). The sort of so-bad-it’s-good horror film that is one of my deepest guilty pleasures.
Sometimes, it is impossible to remove films from the context that we see them in. Perhaps I would feel differently about this movie had I seen it last year, but the world is a different place today than it was only a few months ago. In the midst of reality that increasingly resembles terrifying fiction, Abominable feels safe and reminds me of a time when things were better. It is comforting. Like the cinematic equivalent of a bowl of Kraft Dinner, it has no nutritional value whatsoever and it doesn’t even really taste all that great, but it feels good. Sometimes, that’s enough.
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