The Abandoned follows a young woman as she tries to patch her life back together taking a job as a nightshift security guard at an abandoned apartment building/makeshift psychiatric ward. With her fellow sarcastic and handicapped co-security guard, she explores the building, which eventually leads to a haunted derelict building story that admittedly follows the traditional trends.
One of my least favorite characteristics of the haunted house genre is the house's gradual increase in haunting prowess. Why can't the house bleed from the walls the second the family moves in? Why does it wait until the family is freaked out enough to move out before it possesses the dad to kill everyone? While in some cases this concept is explained, and to my appreciation, this is often just an annotated understanding of the sub genre.
If I could give The Abandoned a gold star of any kind, it would be in its initial trigger of the haunting. It gives a catalyst for the events, but unfortunately this slightly clever plot progression is dismissed in the end and leaves me to find the overall film a waste.
When our protagonist explores too deeply and opens a sealed and locked door in the bowels of the apartment building, she discovers an underground structure beneath the building that housed rejected psychiatric patients in the distant past. Most of the haunting occurs post-door opening, so at least there is a reasonable catalyst. Unfortunately, that's where any reason stops. The eventual conclusion, which I won't spoil here, throws a ridiculous amount of plotholes into the mix, that either inherently exist in the script, were far too subtle to be solved by the casual viewer, or were simply explained away with the "dream sequence" scenario, which still leaves a ridiculous number of plotholes.
The utter derailment of the plot with its final twist makes me feel like I missed something. And perhaps I did. It wouldn't be the first time, especially in the cases where the film struggles to retain my undivided attention. The film lacks any real scares, struggles to move the plot along smoothly, and lacks any edge or direction that makes you care about the mystery being solved. For a horror film it was weak, and for a mystery film it was unsatisfying. It just didn't hit home on any fronts I believe it intended to.