Seven years ago, a woman's husband goes missing. But just as she's finally ready to stop grieving and put the loss behind her, he reappears. He claims to have been trapped in some otherworldly realm for all this time, and the only explanation he has for his escape is, "It must have been sleeping."
Absentia is a wonderfully written and directed horror film. It falls squarely in the genre of quiet horror, where character, mood, and atmosphere all contribute to a sense of dread that builds throughout the film until it reaches its ultimate nightmarish payoff. In many ways, it reminded me of the fiction of Charles L. Grant and Ramsey Campbell, which -- as a horror writer myself -- is one of the highest compliments I can give. If you're looking for just another gore-fest, this isn't for you, but if you're looking for intelligent, original, truly unsettling horror, you have to check out this film. Definitely one of the best releases of 2011.