THE ABANDON (2022) Reviews of psychological horror

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‘The real test lies within’

The Abandon is a 2022 American horror film about a wounded soldier who wakes up in a strange cube that tests his physical and mental limits – he attempts to find a way to escape against a ticking clock.

Directed by Jason Satterlund from a screenplay written by Dwain Worrell. Produced by Marc Dahlstrom, Victoria Hadeler, Alixandra Saucier and Regis Terencio.

The Mill House Motion Pictures production stars Jonathan Rosenthal, Tamara Perry, Regis Terencio and Priscilla Avila.

After an intense firefight in Iraq, wounded American Sergeant Miles Willis awakens alone in a strange empty room with no windows or exits. Nothing makes sense. Writing appears on the walls, the temperature fluctuates, and gravity randomly shifts.


Willis is able to communicate with just one person – a mystery woman who calls him on his sat phone, claiming to be trapped in a similar space. Before the clock runs out, the two of them must figure out who has them, why they were taken, and how to escape…

“We’ve seen similar films, but none as personal, emotional, and definitely not as low-key as The Abandon. This film puts humanity back in the locked room genre made so popular by the likes of the Cube, Saw, and Escape Room series, and brings us into a place where cooperation – not antagonism – is the only solution.” 4/5 DC Filmdom

The Abandon is an elegant and simple story that is empowered by outstanding performances and masterful filmmaking. Worrell’s narrative transcends many of the films that have come before that were similar in terms of a character trapped in a box or buried alive. At its core, it has a feel of a contemporary The Pit and the Pendulum…” Fears Mag

“In many ways, this film could work as a black box play, it is that much of a performance-driven piece. A drama/horror/sci-fi/thriller black-box piece but one that is absolutely rooted in performance and Rosenthal is up for the task of selling this character. While the film is not pushing the audience to distrust Miles, it’s hard not to question how much of what we are witnessing is real…” Following Films

“What may initially seem like a kidnap and torture film set against the background of a middle eastern war quickly turns into a highly intelligent, deeply layered, and increasingly intense sci-fi. Without ever visually revealing a villain, The Abandon terrifies and presents a formidable foe to human existence.” 7.75 out of 10, Horror Buzz

“Over time it feels stale watching Miles get pummeled around the room and having mini-breakdowns. And it would have been more rewarding seeing Miles and Damesy begin to crack the code to some degree before the final act. The Abandon really just needed to find another level. It has potential and a solid hook but never manages to evolve beyond it to truly sustain the thrills until the final credits.” 5/10 Lyles Movie Files

“The last third of the film stumbles a bit, with an overemphasis on mathematical equations and repetition that begins to become tiring. The finale is a bit frustrating, with references to another dimension and no clear resolution to the story. Still, The Abandon is interesting and impressive, even if the mystery of where the characters are and why they are there feels intentionally obtuse.” Screen Zealots

” …some of the exposition could have been handled differently, though it keeps a few tricks up its sleeve, and it’s rewarding to finally get there: it also shows that it has no intention of answering every question we may have. This is certainly a different spin on a genre which has come to be rather predictable in some aspects: director Jason Satterlund has dodged this predictability successfully.” Warped Perspective

“Confidently guided behind the lens by Satterlund and penned with just the right amount of development from its two central figures and a knack for realistic dialogue by Worrell, The Abandon is garden variety in structure. Nonetheless, it encourages audiences to imagine what might be transpiring outside of Willis’ ever-cramped world. The fruitfulness of this detail, as well as the sly sequel setup, wonderfully balance out this trait.” Without Your Head

Cast and characters:
Jonathan Rosenthal … Miles Willis
Tamara Perry … Damsey Robins
Regis Terencio … Foreign Caller
Priscilla Avila … Iraqi woman

Filming locations:
Spokane, Washington

Teaser trailer:

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