Emma Roberts made her name in the horror genre as a recurring cast member in the anthology series American Horror Story. She is continuing that legacy on the silver screen with her latest project Abandoned. The film is directed by Spencer Squire, whose acting career has taken off over the last few years, with this new film being only his second effort as a director.
Abandoned tells the story of a young couple with a newborn looking to escape the city. They knowingly move into an old farmhouse with a violent past, and strange things begin to happen. However, we are not sure if these events are real or simply a part of the mother’s increasing bouts of postpartum psychosis. Let’s go through the trailer to see what other clues about the plot are dropped.
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Abandoned: The Plot
The Abandoned trailer opens with the happy couple and their newborn son viewing an old but classic farmhouse in the countryside. The husband comments that they were looking to escape the city for something more low-key and quiet. After the house tour, the wife questions the realtor about why the house had been listed for so long without anyone purchasing it. The realtor’s smile quickly fades as if she was anticipating the question.
The realtor then discloses that an incident had taken place in the home. Immediately the husband claims they don’t want to hear the story, but the wife pushes to know the truth. The realtor then explains that a double homicide and a suicide had been committed in the house, and she assumes the couple would no longer be interested as it most likely had happened several times before. Much to her surprise, the wife closes the deal on the house, whispering to her husband the words that might just lead to her demise, “You know I don’t mind a little haunting.”
The next few shots show the couple smiling as they move into their idyllic new abode, but then the wife finds a door that is sealed shut. After prying it open, the couple discovers what seems to be a little boy’s bedroom. Much to their surprise, the wife says, “I thought they just had a daughter.” We then hear a gruff voice off camera say, “There were two.” The stranger who creepily walked into the house unannounced identifies himself as their new neighbor.
The next few scenes make the audience a bit uneasy with suspenseful music and a reference to things in the house that keep disappearing. We then get a glimpse of a medication bottle and the wife talking to her doctor, who claims that she had stopped her treatments, undoubtedly for postpartum symptoms, after they left the city.
The trailer picks up pace as windows are found nailed shut, scratching is heard behind a wall and the wife questions what happened to the son who used to live in the house. We then hear the realtor divulge that the boy who grew up in that house “lives in the house next door,” presumably the strange man who startled the couple previously.
As the action in the trailer reaches a fever pitch, one of the final scenes depicts the wife walking quietly through the room and sitting on the bed. Her voiceover whispers, “I don’t feel like I’m alone here.” She looks up to see an unknown man standing in the shadows while at the same moment, her feet are grabbed by two hands coming out from under the bed.
Abandoned: The Cast
Emma Roberts stars as the wife and mother suffering from postpartum psychosis in the film. Her character is unnamed in the trailer, and no other news about the film divulges it either. Roberts started her career on Nickelodeon in the sitcom Unfabulous. Since then, she has expanded her career in television and movies of many genres. She is well known for her portrayal of Casey Miller in the comedy We’re the Millers, her various roles in American Horror Story, and her cult classic role of Chanel Oberlin in the dark comedy series Scream Queens. She will also star in the upcoming Netflix series First Kill.
John Gallagher Jr. plays the husband, and his character is also yet to be named publicly. He began his career on the stage in several musicals and also in the Broadway revival of Long Day’s Journey into Night. He is perhaps most famous for his role as Jim Harper in the Aaron Sorkin drama series The Newsroom. Abandoned seems to be Gallagher’s first venture into the horror genre.
Michael Shannon plays the creepy neighbor who is also unnamed in the film’s trailer. Shannon has been nominated for two Academy Awards for his roles in Revolutionary Road and Nocturnal Animals. He also recently starred in the Hulu miniseries Nine Perfect Strangers, and he is set to star in the upcoming film Bullet Train. Shannon has worked fairly extensively with Spencer Squire, the director of Abandoned, on other projects, which perhaps is how he got attached to this role.
Despite having some big named stars, Abandoned has flown under the radar and has garnered little promotion. Surprisingly, not much is known about the film outside of its trailer, which is perhaps why the main characters’ names are a mystery.
Abandoned was filmed almost entirely in North Carolina, and it was produced in conjunction with Before the Door Pictures, Three Point Capital, and Vertical Entertainment. The film is scheduled to be released on June 17, 2022.