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'The Abandoned' a schlocky basement-level horror-thriller

'The Abandoned' a schlocky basement-level horror-thriller
Jason Patric and Louisa Krause in "The Abandoned." (IFC Films / TNS)

As generic and uninspired as its title, "The Abandoned" is a grade-C horror-thriller whose narrative and visual seams show far too often. First-time feature director Eytan Rockaway, working from a muddled script by Ido Fluk (story by Fluk and Rockaway) elicits neither jumps nor chills nor emotional empathy, as Rockaway drags us through the film's single night of mayhem.

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Julia, a.k.a. "Streak" (an uncharismatic Louisa Krause), is a jumpy young woman starting a new gig as a graveyard shift security guard at an enormous, opulent and abandoned apartment complex. We learn via an on-the-nose if detail-light phone chat that Streak must succeed at this seemingly ill-fitting job in order to keep custody of her daughter.

Her sole co-worker is Cooper (Jason Patric, slumming), a wheelchair-using cynic who monitors the building's extensive security-camera system as Streak makes her rounds patrolling the dark and ominous structure. It won't take a psychic to predict that something evil will threaten the unstable Streak and that Cooper's disability will not work in his favor. What's real and what's not, however, are largely up for grabs.

A super-convenient online news video provides clunky context about the creepy building but creates more questions than answers. Streak and Cooper are meagerly drawn characters, first-draft dialogue abounds, and the story proves more tedious and head-scratching as it goes. As for the ending: Really?

"The Abandoned"

MPAA rating: None

Running time: 1 hour, 27 minutes

Playing: Arena Cinema, Hollywood

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