Abominable (2006)

Schifrin’s horror thriller is set up with so much obligatory plot devices, and potential victims of our vicious abominable snowman, and yet, I really liked it a lot in the end. “Abominable” has that same old “Rear Window” device borrowing heavily from the formula as Matt McCoy plays Preston, a crippled man healing from a horrible accident who returns to his mountain home to grieve over his wife. Things have changed around his neck of the woods, as a vicious monster is roaming the wilderness killing animals, and Preston really can’t do much of anything in a wheelchair.

But paired with his binoculars (they can watch people and hear them talking in long distances, FYI), he watches a group of vacationing college girls next door and must figure out a way to get the word out as night falls. “Abominable” excels in spite of the major plot holes, mainly because it has such an entertaining attitude about itself. The score is a big plus as Lalo Schifrin amps up the tension with an orchestra, paired with Ryan’s rather good direction. There were certain scenes where I was just surprised, because Schifrin opens up a wide terrain of snow and mountains and yet makes Preston’s world seem so isolated.

That’s mainly because of the classic Hitchcock tool of using the wheelchair as a means of keeping our hero bound and vulnerable, thus the audience feels vulnerable. Sure enough though, he knows there’s a monster in the woods, and there’s nothing he can do but watch and rely on his wits to survive. Matt McCoy is an actor I was never fond of. Save for his guest spots on “Seinfeld,” I just never liked him, but he does well with the material here, and I cared about his character. “Abominable” is a solid horror film from the get go from the appearance of Dee Wallace, to the wonderful title sequence that sets the overall mood, this is a movie that will go great with chips and beer.

The tension rises and rises as Preston sits in his chair watching the women in the next condo being offed one by one and must also endure an abusive caretaker in the process. As the body count rises, Schifrin keeps a considerable distance from the females in peril, and that’s a great move. Up until the climax, we’re only the observers watching poor women be torn to shreds by a hairy monster. We barely know them, we barely meet them, and yet we sympathize for their demise as the monster closes in every time.

The scenes of monster rampage are great, and Schifrin sets up some great moments of pure carnage and blood splatter as our hungry monster takes digs at the young women and occasional passersby. Schifrin thankfully doesn’t opt for repetition and keeps every character entertaining and every kill thrilling. “Abominable” has a very novel exciting atmosphere that just won me over and I couldn’t help really enjoying it; especially with the creepy closing scene that worked better than it should have. This was surprisingly a very good monster on the rampage horror flick with great performances from the entire cast, decent monster effects, searing tension, and an excellent delivery of a truly derivative concept. And you simply don’t want to miss the final scene. It gave me goose bumps.