A Truly Haunting Netflix Masterpiece: The Abandoned

Haunting flashbacks of her partner's self-inflicted tragedy casts a shadow over officer Wu Jie’s relentless pursuit of justice. (PHOTO: Netflix)

Get ready to be captivated by The Abandoned, Netflix's top film in Singapore, as it leads you through a chilling adventure blending supernatural elements and psychological depth.

Haunting flashbacks of her partner's self-inflicted tragedy casts a shadow over officer Wu Jie’s relentless pursuit of justice. (PHOTO: Netflix)

Amid Taipei’s lively New Year’s Eve festivities, police officer Wu Jie found herself contemplating suicide in her car. While deep in her thoughts, she was abruptly pulled into an investigation.

The discovery of a mutilated body on the shore halted her bleak intentions, kickstarting her journey of psychological exploration, and a quest for redemption. Slowly, her troubled backstory unfolded, shedding light on the trauma she had endured. 

Being a fan of psychological horror, I am drawn to movies that skillfully weave suspenseful storytelling, outstanding acting, and a compelling narrative. Directed by Tseng Ying-ting, this film stars Janine Chang as Wu Jie, Chloe Xiang as Wilson, and Ethan Juan as Lin Yousheng, heightening the anticipation of The Abandoned, given that strong performances by these talented actors often play a crucial role in shaping the impact of a psychological horror film. 

Upon viewing the trailer and reading the synopsis, the movie appeared to be a promising choice for enthusiasts of the psychological horror genre like myself. I was eager to delve into the unfolding narrative, observe the portrayal of the characters’ psychological states, and witness how the director employs suspenseful storytelling to captivate the audience.

A Thriller That Enthrals Viewers

In her capacity as an officer, Wu Jie felt compelled to delve into the case and do everything in her power for the victim, particularly after uncovering a severed ring finger and missing heart, indicating a planned murder driven by a deep-seated grudge.

As she delved into the investigation, the number of missing women multiplied. Wu Jie set aside her personal struggles to assist her novice colleague in apprehending the murderer, who is eventually unveiled as a serial killer.

Wu Jie’s troubled past adds complexity to the unfolding enigma, blurring the lines between reality and nightmarish realms. 

At the 10-minute mark, a ghostly figure ominously declares, “The house knows your secrets,” initiating an exploration of a sinister haunted dwelling entwined with inner conflicts.

The film masterfully weaves suspense, surprising the audience with unexpected plot twists – a revelation at the 20-minute mark exposes the true nature of the haunting, casting doubt on the protagonist’s sanity. 

Dialogues like “You can’t escape your past” at the 35-minute mark add complexity, inviting viewers into the psychological labyrinth of the characters. 

As I delve into this film, I was completely immersed by the seamless blend of mystery and suspense, keeping me on edge. The serial killer plot unfolds with precision, revealing intricate character dynamics. The delicate balance between plot progression and character development enhances my connection to the story. 

The brilliance of the script keeps me guessing, maintaining a constant sense of anticipation. With every twist, The Abandoned takes me on a suspenseful roller coaster through the realms of fear.

Eliciting Emotional Resonance

The Netflix film boasts performances that transcend conventional horror stories. At the 25-minute mark, Janine Chang delivers a powerful monologue, skillfully portraying fear, desperation, and determination. 

The emotional exchange at 50 minutes, with the haunting words “We are bound by our past,” hit me hard. It made me think about how our past shapes us, stirring deep feelings.

The chemistry and authenticity of the actors elevate the film beyond mere horror, creating a nuanced and affecting experience.

Effects of Immersive Cinematography

Visual mastery takes centre stage, contributing significantly to the film’s immersive atmosphere. A tracking shot at the 15-minute mark skillfully navigates through the haunted house, intensifying foreboding. 

The choice of locations, particularly the abandoned attic with macabre artefacts at the 40-minute mark, adds to the atmosphere of dread. Crafted camera work and atmospheric lighting create palpable unease, complementing the psychological horror. In The Abandoned, visuals become a crucial storytelling tool, heightening the impact of every spine-tingling moment.

The Abandoned left a lasting impact on me, earning a solid 4/5 rating. The unforgettable narrative, unexpected plot twists, emotionally charged performances, and immersive cinematography all contributed to an experience that kept me thoroughly engaged and on the edge of my seat. The film’s ability to deliver on multiple fronts, both narratively and emotionally, played a significant role in influencing my positive verdict.

Rating: 4/5.