Okay, once again it’s time to give a very small and obscure little movie its due. The Abandoned is a film that I would pretty much guarantee only the hardcore horror fans saw when it came out a handful of years ago. It was lumped into the short-lived “8 Films to Die For” series that After Dark put out for a few years, but that series itself has now been abandoned (see what I did there?) Regardless, there were a few standouts from those After Dark films, and was one of them. The Abandoned is basically just a good old fashioned supernatural ghost story. It’s a film that’s HEAVILY reliant on mood, atmosphere, and suspense… which is always a high point for me. For a small little horror film, this movie is beautiful. The cinematography is really a standout, something you don’t normally see in small horror indies. It takes place in the Russian mountains (yet actually was filmed in Bulgaria for cost reasons), and they take advantage of the landscape and isolation it provides perfectly. Since many of you have probably never seen it, I’ll go a little deeper into the plot. The storyline is about an American woman who travels to Russia after she is told her birthmother was mysteriously found dead. She was adopted by an American family and didn’t know her real mother at all, so she travels back to try and unearth everything about her past, her family, and try to discover who she is. Well, to do this she has to travel deeeeeeep into the mountains to an abandoned house and basically falls face-first into her own isolated terror in order to discover it. From there, the terror begins. Suspense, scares, and violence abound. Without ruining much, because that’s part of the fun, I must provide one teeny-tiny spoiler (so be warned.) I need to because it’s probably one of the main reasons I love this movie, as well as one of my all time favorite devices in a horror movie, and it’s rarely EVER utilized… and that device is the doppelganger. The whole idea of a creepy (ghostly) doppelganger is absolutely terrifying to me. *Shivers. Anyway, I’ll stop there. Go discover the rest this little gem has to offer on your own. Enjoy.