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Image and video hosting by TinyPic Cast: Bryan Kirkwood, Vanessa Zima, Denny Kirkwood, Yvonne Zima, Jennifer Blanc

Director: Sage Bannick

Genre: Thriller

Year: 2010

Rating: N/A

Vincent is a well respected high school teacher but he is hiding a dark secret about an affair he is having with Katie who happens to be one of his students. Things become much more complicated when his twin brother, Oscar is released from prison after 25 years for killing their parents. One by one Katie's friends begin to disappear and all the evidence is pointing to Vincent who must try and find his brother and stop the madness before it's too late.

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Director/Producer/Co-writer, Sage Bannick had to battle studio heads in order to try and get this film made and I suppose after having to endure their lists of excuses for too long he decided to go ahead and make the film on a more limited budget. I am not an expect in the matter but I would think in some ways this turned out to be the better of the two options since this way I think he had a lot more artistic freedom to get the film made the way he visioned it rather than having some studio execs getting their dirty hands on the script and changing things around as they see fit. The film starts off with Vincent and Oscar as kids and Oscar being the target of a sinister plan to collect life insurance. Oscar does a little sneaking around and soon discovers what their parents are up to so he beats them to the punch and in return he spends 25 years in prison. We then jump forward to present day and we see what Vincent is doing and as well as finding out that Oscar is being released from prison. The film stays busy during it's short 80 minute run time, it manages to keep the slasher plot going strong while fitting in the back-story on Oscar and also the suspense on the missing teenagers as well as giving us enough character development so that we can have some sort of connection to these people. The Absent doesn't try and hide the identity of the killer, it also isn't much of a mystery as to what is going on. But it isn't intended to be any of those things either, the film gives you the story right from the start without hiding any facts but the story is gripping and interesting enough to keep you at the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens next and ultimately wondering how it is going to end. The production values are good considering the budget, the settings, camera work, lighting and the soundtrack are all done very well and each plays a major part in the the over-all mood of the film. The cast is terrific as well, real-life twins, Denny and Bryan Kirkwood play the twin brothers in the film and both do a terrific job. The film seems to be a family affair since sisters Vanessa and Yvonne Zima star in the film as well. The entire cast has had experience in acting before so there was no reason to suspect the acting at all and having such a talented cast paid off.

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The Absent is a thriller that immediately grabs your attention from it's opening frames and keeps you glued to the screen till the exciting climax. I had a great time watching this and found it to be entertaining and one of those films you hate to see end so soon, if you like thrillers or horror then The Absent is a film you need to bookmark and keep a look out for. As of this review I am not sure of a release date but you can visit The Absent's Official Site HERE to follow it's progress. I have a feeling this was a labor of love for all involved in making The Absent and the end result is a Good vs. Evil Thriller that does just that "Thrills". The DVD comes with Special Features that include:

Behind The Scenes Featurette

Audio Commentary with Director Sage Bannick and Co-writer Damon Abdallah


**** Out Of *****