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The Abducted (2009) - Film Review

Jon Bonell’s 2009 horror flick THE ABDUCTED is a poorly written, badly made, diabolically acted, excuse for a movie. Churned out in an attractive box with a misleading synopsis, ABDUCTED is another example of a half-baked, low budget horror that should have never been made.

The blurb on the back tells us about a meeting in a public place arranged on the internet between two strangers. I’d like to point out that we see nothing of this. The Abducted starts with Valora (Kathleen Benner) already bound and gagged in a secluded shack. Her abductor is psychotic, Ridley (James Ray) who meets young ladies on the internet and kills them for sport. We never find out how Valora
was taken, where they met, or indeed how their relationship started. My guess is that it was beyond the capabilities of writer Alan Smithee, who relies heavily on flashbacks but doesn’t bother to fully explain these situations which are so vital to the story. There are some scenes which are shot from entirely the wrong point of view and although The Abducted does compel you to keep watching, when the end credits roll, you’ll wonder why you bothered.

For some reason, which again is not fully explained, Ridley has taken a liking to Valora and has decided to keep her hostage rather than kill her. The story shows us how Valora copes with the situation and how she tries to turn the tables on her kidnapper. I’m pretty sure that on paper the initial outline of the story looked good but during writing and production it fell apart and ended up looking cheap and amateur. I know the budget was low but this is no excuse, there are single-location, low budget films which have been successful. The necessity for a menacing psycho and a likeable victim should never be ignored though and The Abducted proves this point better than most. This crumby excuse for a film was a waste of a half-good story idea. At one point a man drops to the floor before the shot is even fired! The Abducted is a frustrating film, because it’s not out and out rubbish, it has glimmers of hope occasionally but important details are either missing or explained so fleetingly that it simply doesn’t work.

As for the acting! Well, if you’ve ever been to a primary school production you will have seen better. Kathleen Benner’s acting skills are very limited and not helped by the poor decisions of her character. James Ray tries far too hard to be intimidating and comes across as a hammed-up caricature of what he is supposed to be.

I don’t even recall seeing the image on the DVD box anywhere in the film, the blurb on the back hardly relates to what we see, and at one point I was pretty sure the disc and the box didn’t even belong together. I hate being misled almost as much as I hate being robbed. The Abducted made me feel both misled and robbed -- shame on them!! And shame on me for once again being suckered in by glossy packaging!!

THE ABDUCTED (2009) Director: Jon Bonell. Writer: Alan Smithee. Cast: James Ray, Kathleen Benner, Michael Harrelson, Ashley Francis, Greg Joseph.

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