Ryan Schifrin's feature film debut harks back to the golden days of the creature feature, as he combines elements of Rear Window and Jaws, in what could quite possibly be the best man in a monster suit creature feature I've seen in nigh on two decades.
Matt McCoy stars as wheelchair bound Preston Rogers, struggling to cope with an accident six months previously, which saw his wife die and his mobility severely limited. Preston is traveling to his log cabin with Nurse Otis for a weekend of rehabilitation. Soon after Preston arrives, a group of girls on a bachelorette party arrives at the cabin next door and their loud music and hi-jinx causes problems in the normally tranquil area as they disturb a hideous, bloodthirsty Yeti.
As the girls party on unaware, Preston is forced to try and save them from themselves and the Yeti. This proves difficult as Otis does not believe Preston's cries for help and neither do the local police. With the phone lines down and one of the girls missing, Preston must use his wits to help the girls, and eventually himself, as the wicked Wookie catches on to Preston's attempts to help the girls.
From its opening, it is clear that Ryan Schifrin is a fan of old movies, and not just monster movies but all the classics. Sure Godzilla and Jaws spring to mind, but the works of Hitchcock, Dante, Landis and Spielberg may all have had a place in creating Abominable.
The cast is terrific with McCoy, Jeffrey Combs, Lance Henriksen, Dee Wallace Stone and Tiffany Shepis giving great performances, ably supported by some other fine recognisable faces and rising talents.
Special mention must go to two team members who have since passed away, the wonderfully talented Neal Fredericks and Paul Gleason who add so much to the proceedings, especially Fredericks who makes the film look wonderful despite budget limitations.
With an engaging story and a wonderful cast already in place, the film continues to build on its plus points by adding a wonderful score from Ryan's father Lalo Schifrin (need I say more) and some of the sickest practical effects work I have seen on screen in goodness knows how long.
I'll try not to spoil it for those not lucky enough to have seen the movie yet, but Tiffany Shepis has her goriest on screen moment yet and then there are stomachs and throats ripped out and bitten out, geysers of blood spraying forth from various bodies, torn up animals and a cool as heck half decapitation that isn't caused by a weapon.
Ryan Schifrin and his team have essentially made a big scale B-movie that takes its unspectacular concept to great heights by treating the genre with respect. This movie was clearly made by fans of monster movies, not some greedy bastards in search of a quick buck.
Abominable is not a breathtaking revelation in a stale sub genre, it is however a bloody great time and if taken with the spirit intended, it is sure to entertain the casual viewer and fans of nature gone wrong movies, regardless of age or experience. There's quite clearly a little boy grown up in Ryan Schifrin, and this naivety has helped capture some of that movie magic in this one. Don't be pretentious about this, just sit back and enjoy it, its fun to be scared.