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Film / Abominable

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"There is something out there..."
Preston Rogers

Abominable is a 2006 horror film written and directed by Ryan Schifrin, the son of composer Lalo Schifrin.

In the town of Flatwoods, Preston Rogers is being brought back home after months of rehabilitative therapy following a climbing accident at the infamous (and poorly named) Suicide Rock, an incident which killed his wife and has forever cost Preston the use of his legs; he is a paraplegic, confined to a wheelchair. His doctors have placed him in the care of dickweed physical therapist Otis Wilhelm.

Preston really doesn't want to be here, or anywhere, really, as he is depressed over his wife's death and such. The fact his house is in the shadow of Suicide Rock isn't helping his wounded psyche any.

When Otis leaves to run to the grocery store, a bored Preston decides to do some birdwatching with his binoculars when some college girls drive up to occupy the rented cabin across the road for the weekend. With little else to do that doesn't remind him of his wife, Preston alternates between watching the girls and watching the woods. Preston sees, out of the corner of his eye, something big and hairy swoop in and snatch one of the girls, and by the time he brings the binoculars up again, she is gone leaving only her phone behind.


Something is out there in the woods. Something big, mean and hungry...

Abominable is not a groundbreaking film by any means, and the effects aren't that great (the monster costume makes the Yeti look like what someone aptly described as "an angry Brian Dennehy that wants to rape someone"), but it is well-directed and has some really wonderful suspenseful moments, making excellent use of the claustrophobia of Preston's house and the deep, impenetrable darkness of the woods without.

No relation to the Dreamworks film of the same name, nor does it have anything to do with the book series.


Tropes used in this film:

  • Accidental Pervert: When Preston sees the monster outside with his binoculars, he calls Otis over. But by the time Otis gets there, the monster is gone, and Otis thinks Preston was watching Tracy taking a shower through the (surprisingly large) bathroom window across the street.
  • Action Survivor: Pretty much every character who survives an encounter with the monster, but especially Preston and Amanda.
  • Actor Allusion: Sheriff Halderman's coffee mug says "Don't Mess With the Bull." He's played by Paul Gleason, who said that in The Breakfast Club.
  • Almost Dead Guy: Girl, actually, but same principle. Karen is found in the monster's cave by Ziegler. She manages to gasp out "It's coming back!" before the monster returns and drags her away.
  • Ankle Drag: Twice:
    • Whilst Ziegler is tending the injured Karen in the cave, the monster returns. It grabs Karen's ankle. Ziegler grabs for her hand, but she is dragged screaming away into the depths.
    • In the next scene Billy gets tackled by the monster, and Ziegler and the clerk watch him getting dragged off kicking and screaming in the dark woods.
  • Asian Airhead: C.J., who never quite seems to understand how serious the situation is.
  • An Axe to Grind: Otis attacks the beast with an axe at one point.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Amanda, despite a few cuts on her face from her Super Window Jump, still looks reasonably attractive. Not even flying through the windshield later messes her face up that much, a big splash of blood aside.
  • BBC Quarry: Bronson Canyon is used for the Yeti's lair.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: The monster is described by a scientist as being "more like the abominable snowman of the Himalayas," which seems to be the movie's way of justifying the title which implies a Yeti more than Sasquatch/Bigfoot. The Flatwoods residents however refer to it as 'Squatch.
  • Car Fu: Preston kills the Yeti by pressing the gas pedal of Otis' station wagon, sending it flying in reverse, pinning the beast up against a tree, causing the axe still imbedded in its back to go through its chest and (eventually) kill it.
  • Cell Phones Are Useless: Averted. Karen's dropped phone ends up being crucial to the story at several points, allowing Preston to communicate with the other girls. It doesn't get good reception inside the house, but outside is another matter.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: The axe. Preston and Amanda plan to use it in some kind of booby trap. But when it turns out they have no time to prepare the trap, they abandon the axe near where Otis is lying. Later, Otis awakens and attacks the beast with it, sticking it into its back. It remains imbedded in the creature's back, allowing Preston to use it to kill the monster at the end: see Car Fu.
  • Closed Circle: Except for a few scenes involving other characters, the entire movie takes place in and around Preston's house.
  • Curiosity Killed the Cast: One of the main reasons people die in droves. Ironically, what would seem to be the most egregious example, Ziegler entering the cave, ends up being a subversion. The monster isn't home and he finds the wounded Karen, and it's her who gets killed when the Yeti returns, while he manages to escape.
  • Dangerous Windows: Tracy gets grabbed through the bathroom window.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Preston, who is haunted by the accident that killed his wife and crippled him.
  • Death by Cameo: All of the recognizable actors have only one or two scenes before becoming monster fodder.
  • Discretion Shot: The first few deaths are done this way, but once the movie hits around the middle mark, it starts getting very gory.
  • Downer Ending: From the looks of things, it looks like the entire town is going to get invaded by angry Yetis, given how dozens of them show up at the end.
  • The End... Or Is It?: The monster has been slain and Preston and Amanda have been driven off in ambulances, but when the cops investigate the crashed station wagon, the monster's body is gone! Suddenly, they find themselves surrounded by dozens and dozens of Yetis!
  • Flipping the Bird: Preston does this to Otis behind his back at one point.
  • Giant Foot of Stomping: Well, they don't call him "Bigfoot" for nothing, as C.J. finds out.
  • Gonna Need More X: Preston grabs a carving knife from the kitchen to defend himself, but then realizes how puny it looks.
    Preston: I'm gonna need a bigger knife!
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: woman, actually, but same principle. Tracy gets pulled stomach-first through a window too small for her to fit. So the monster makes her fit, snapping her in half backwards.
  • Handicapped Badass: Although he's The Load most of the time, anyone who can kill a Yeti despite being paralyzed below the waist is pretty badass. Go, Preston!
  • "Hey, You!" Haymaker: "Hey, ass monkey! Eat this!"
  • Hypocritical Humor: Otis grabs Preston's shoulder in the dark at one point, startling Preston, and Otis rags on Preston for scaring him!
  • In the Back: How Otis attacks the Yeti with the axe.
  • Instant Sedation: When Preston injects the abusive Otis with the sedative he'd intended to use on Preston, Otis pretty much immediately collapses.
  • Lampshade Hanging: When Ziegler wanders off into the woods to investigate a strange noise after explaining to his friends what the Darwin Award are, the convenience store clerk is amused by the irony.
    Clerk: Another Darwin Award, comin' up...
  • Late to the Party: The police. They only show up after the Yeti is killed.
  • The Load: Preston is a very literal example at one point, although it isn't his fault. Since he's paralyzed below the waist, he's in a wheelchair and can't walk. After he loses the wheelchair, Amanda has to drag him to safety twice.
  • The Lopsided Arm of the Law: In a Deleted Scene, Halderman thinks Preston, a paralyzed man confined to a wheelchair, killed everyone.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Suicide Rock!
  • Never Found the Body: Upon inspecting the crashed station wagon, Deputy McBride doesn't find the dead monster. It's still dead, but the other Yetis came for it.
  • No Name Given: The convenience store clerk. The closest we get is Billy calling him "buddy boy."
  • No Seatbelts: When the station wagon crashes into a tree, Amanda gets flung headfirst through the windshield because she hadn't buckled up. Somehow, she survives.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Flatwoods is actually a very hilly mountain town.
  • One-Word Title
  • Police are Useless: Played with. Halderman and most of his deputies don't seem particularly competent, but Deputy McBride seems like he has a good head on his shoulders.
  • Precision F-Strike: When Preston attempts to sneak out of the house, he takes one look at the stairs leading down to the ground level and realizes there's no way he's getting down them in his wheelchair.
    Preston: Fuck that!
  • Redemption Equals Death: After being a huge Jerkass for the entire movie, Otis awesomely redeems himself by saving Amanda from the monster. Sadly, this results in him getting himself eaten.
  • Self-Defenseless: C.J. maces the monster at one point. It doesn't do much more than annoy him, prompting him to utilize his Giant Foot Of Stomping on her.
  • Shower Scene: Tracy takes one before the monster drags her through the window, as part of Preston's Accidental Pervert scene.
  • Stock Scream: Ziegler unleashes the good ol' Wilhelm Scream when the monster grabs him in the woods.
  • Stock Unsolved Mysteries: When McBride shows Halderman the printout from Preston's email, Halderman sarcastically asks if he's found D.B. Cooper.
  • Super Window Jump: How Amanda escapes the monster at one point.
  • Survivor Guilt: Preston is wrestling with this at the beginning, following the climbing accident that killed his wife and left him alive but paralyzed.
  • Take a Third Option: Amanda is trapped in the living room with the Yeti. It's blocking the door. Her only choices seem to be: stay and get killed, or try and run for the door and get caught and killed. Instead, she turns and leaps through the window.


Example of: