An investigative reporter teams up with a Police officer to solve the mystery of why a seemingly good man murdered her sister’s family.
Apparently today I’m doomed to watch stupid movies. First this, and then I watched the much maligned, and truly terrible, Suicide Squad. That said, let’s just get on with it. I thought this one might work for me because it stars the absolutely amazing Lyn Shaye (Insidious), and she’s a saving grace for any movie that she finds herself in.
Unfortunately, this movie was directed by Darren Lynn Bousman (Repo! The Genetic Opera) and he’s proven that he really doesn’t have much going for him as a filmmaker. He did make some entertaining Saw entries, and I even found myself enjoying Repo! at one time, but when I really step back and look at his films, he’s just not a great filmmaker. This was also the feature debut for screenwriter Christopher Monfette (12 Monkeys, tv series) and the two of them have created something of a convoluted mess that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
The basic premise revolves around a man who collects the rooms that murders happen in, and has built an enormous house out of these rooms, which are haunted by the ghosts of the dead who are forced to repeat their deaths forever. Had the movie taken place entirely in this house, and had a sort of Thir13en Ghosts feel to it, then it might have been a whole bunch of fun. Instead they attempted to cram in a story about a town who sacrificed all of their children, a mystery, and some kind of pointless love story between Jessica Lowe (Altitude) and Joe Anderson (The Crazies) that I could do without.
From what I understand, Bousman is setting up a cinematic universe with this movie and a series of comic books that were released prior. The plan was for this to set the scene, and the countless sequels to really fill in the story. While I don’t want to discourage this kind of thing in horror, it’s just such a senseless way to do things. It seems like it would make more sense to have a movie that tells a solid story, and to build the universe out from there, rather than try to set up the world first.
There is the nugget of a good idea in this, which Bousman is actually pretty good for, but it falls so far short of the mark. According to Wikipedia, there is a sequel announced, but I just can’t imagine it being worth while, unless you’re a Bousman completionist… is that a thing?
I wish I had more to say about this, but it winds up feeling pretty unremarkable. With the exception of the glowing presence that is Shaye, Abattoir just didn’t tickle me at all. It becomes entirely predictable, and feels really uninspired throughout. Give it a pass.
My Rating: **