The movie Abattoir caught my eye while walking through the movie section of my local Walmart, so I was pleased to see it show up on Netflix streaming so soon after its release. I didn’t know a whole lot about the movie going into it, which is a nice change for someone who studies movies and television for a living. I have to say that, while this movie has its faults, the story is interesting which is a difficult feat in the horror genre. The movie’s title, Abattoir, is an artsy, appropriate title for this suspense filled thriller.
Halfway through the movie, I could not stand not knowing what the title meant in relation to the film, so I had to look it up. It turns out that abattoir is another name for a slaughter house, which is appropriate for this film even though it does not have a ton of gore or a high body count. Instead, the emphasis is put on the house, moreover a house made of rooms from which people were slaughtered.
The plot is slightly hard to follow, but it makes sense if you pay close attention to it. A reporter’s family is murdered in her nephew’s bedroom, and when she goes to look at the crime scene, it seems as though the entire room was just ripped out of the house. This leads her on a chase to find out who took the room and why. Her investigation brings her to a small town with a big secret, a secret that includes her. As she and her cop boyfriend try to unravel the mystery surrounding the town and its secret cult leader, they start to realize how far down the rabbit hole they have gone. The two have to figure out the mystery and how to escape the town and its occupants before it’s too late.
It may sound like your classic horror/thriller, but the story in Abattoir is an original one. There is a touch of the supernatural in this movie, but for the most part, the evil is perpetrated by real human beings. The movie doesn’t shy away from blood, but it doesn’t lean on gore to tell the story, either. The one thing that I didn’t like about this movie is that it started with a film noir vibe – which I really liked – but then they just abandon the concept 15 minutes into the film. I could get why some people would not like this movie, though. If you aren’t following the story closely, it will completely lose you, which has probably led to some poor reviews of the movie.
The acting was nothing magical, but it was good to great for a horror movie. The two main characters are from 90210 and Twilight, so it is not like they don’t have some credits under their belt. There was not a lot in the way of a soundtrack in this movie, but it is not the kind of movie that needs music playing in the background. One place where it was obvious the movie spent a good portion of their budget was on special effects; there are scenes throughout the movie with smoky ghosts which look like they cost a fair amount of money to produce.
I am all in on this movie for a cheap Friday night thrill. Sure, it has its issues, but it is a lot better than 90% of the horror that you will find streaming anywhere right now. I may even go back and watch it again just to try to pick up on a few nuances that I may have missed. Overall, Abattoir is a solid thriller with a satisfactory ending, which is about all you can ask for in a direct to video release.