Abandoned, The (2006) d. Cerda, Nacho (Spain)
Set in Russia, this challenging and rewarding ghost story (co-scripted by Cerda, Richard Stanley and Karim Hussain) follows an American émigré (the haunted-looking Anastasia Hille) as she returns to her birthplace to claim her inheritance after her absent father passes away. Soon, however, she is coming face to face with long-lost siblings, hypnotic visions from the past, and some nasty-looking doppelgangers.
The Spanish auteur, who dazzled short film horror audiences with his festival favorites Aftermath and Genesis, takes the helm for his first feature-length effort and proves he’s got the stuff for the big leagues.
While not filled with the lunch-buckling f/x work of his earlier work, there are enough visual delights (the “kitchen resurrection” scene is one for the books) and nasty chills - all wrapped in a dank and misty atmosphere of dread - on display to keep genre fans satisfied.