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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, and starring Matt McCoy, Dee Wallace, Jeffrey Combs, Rex Linn, Phil Morris, and Lance Henriksen.

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...

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

Tropes used in this film:

  • Absurdly Ineffective Barricade: Subverted by CJ sliding over a dresser in deleted scenes but then for some reason she leaves the room.
  • 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.
  • Adaptational Villainy: This film portrays sasquatches as far more violent and destructive than traditional folklore depicts them. The sasquatch in this film is extremely violent and dangerous, being a bloodthirsty Maneater. In contrast, most folklore depicts Bigfoot as rather timid and peaceful. Justified if you take the title and Dr. Suessmeyer's belief at face value and assume this is actually a yeti, as the yeti is traditionally depicted as far more violent than a North American sasquatch.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: Dr. Suessmeyer insists "This is not Bigfoot. This is bigger than Bigfoot. And meaner."
  • All There in the Manual: Several details are only revealed in the commentary and "making of" featurette. Preston made his money through computers and part of Otis's Jerkass behavior towards him comes from class resentment. Michelle is the one getting married (the film gives indications towards both her and Karen being the bride-to-be). One of the girls (presumably Karen, the only one not mentioned as being part of the group when they were younger) met some of the others in college. And it was marijuina that CJ was smoking in the bathroom.
  • 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.
  • Ambiguously Evil: The other creatures didn't join in attacks. An optimistic, although unlikely, possibility is that the one we see was a black sheep and they might have taken bodies away out of respect or to help instead of to eat them.
  • Ankle Drag:
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Otis with the axe. Preston flashing lights and such in a more passive fashion. Ziegler subverts this when he finds Karen although there was potential there.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Averted, no minority character dies until over an hour in.
  • Break the Cutie: We see some of this in Michelle, CJ and Amanda, even though she survives after they realize what's happening and the monster comes for them to.
  • Bridezilla: Averted, Michelle is pretty mellow and and happy in a restrained way when receiving questions and mild criticism about her wedding plans.
  • Bronson Canyon and Caves: Bronson Canyon is used for the Yeti's lair.
  • 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, there's poor reception, at least inside the houses, but Karens Phoenix comes in handy a lot.
  • Childhood Friends: Dialogue makes it clear CJ has known the others since junior high and Michelle, Amanda and Tracy were in elementary school together.
  • Cool Car: CJ's mountain jeep with its flame paint job.
  • Curtain Camouflage: A deleted scene shows Michelle jerking the shower curtain shut to try and hide.
  • Defiant to the End: Otis doesn’t scream and glares as the monster is about to bite his head off. CJ spraying the creature from the ground also counts.
  • Flawless Token: The black deputy is the smartest one, and the only cop to aid the protagonists. Also, while a bit of an Asian Airhead and Screaming Woman CJ is fairly competent and likable, and aside from Amanda the only of the girls to try and fight back.
    • Also, the only white guy in the movie who is not a Jerkass or an imbecile is a paraplegic in a wheelchair.
  • Flush the Evidence: CJ smokes a joint in the bathroom and flushes it down the toilet when Karen knocks on the door.
  • Food Slap: CJ throws a drink at Tracy for calling her useless and insinuating she’s not a real friend when she is reluctant to go into the woods to search for Karen.
  • For Want of a Nail: If Michelle had hidden in the bathtub like in the deleted scenes, then the monster would have had a harder time getting at her.
  • Genre Savvy: Quite often. CJ using drawers to barricade the door deleted scene, objecting to going alone in the woods after someone vanished and yelling to keep away from the window as the girls run. Michelle acknowleding it’s too early to report Karen missing. The Darwin award joke. Dr. Suessmeyer saying this creature too big for bigfoot and he won’t stop hunting. McBride not writing off Preston's call as a prank.
  • Green Around the Gills: The altitude and bumpy car ride leave Amanda kind of queasy. Also she vomits after narrowly escaping the creature.
  • Ignored Expert: Zigzagged with Dr. Suessmeyer, the cypotozoologist on the Coincidental Broadcast, as he does at least get on TV to talk and he certainly isn't ignored by Preston.
  • 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.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Otis isn’t completely out of line disbelieving Preston.
  • Karmic Jackpot: McBride, the most diligent deputy goes and actually find evidence during the search as the others stick together and wander closer to the creatures.
  • Lampshade Hanging: When Ziegler wanders off into the woods to investigate a strange noise after explaining to his friends what the Darwin Awards 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.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: Defied by C.J., who wisely refuses to go alone into these woods after dark.
  • 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.
  • MacGyvering: Preston and Amanda making weapons from his old climbing gear.
  • Makeout Kids: Dialogue implies that either Tracy or Michelle was one with a boy behind the lockers in high school as the women reminisce about their school days.
  • Manly Men Can Hunt: Ziegler just is out there because he wants to shoot something.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: If you go by the title and Dr. Suessmeyer's belief, the monster is not a North American sasquatch, but a yeti...which raises the question of what it's doing in a completely different continent away from its home. Also, a wildebeest skull is seen in the monster's cave...which is odd since wildebeest are found in Africa, not North America.
  • 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.
    • Also most of the Yeti's victims. The last few were killed onscreen though, although in regards to CJ's fate chest trauma isn't always fatal.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished:
    • Hoss and the clerk going out to hunt the dangerous creature before it can hurt anyone else. Zigzagged with Ziegler who claims he’s just there to kill something, but tries to rescue an injured Karen.
    • Possibly CJ stopping to check on Amanda in her run for the jeep, which doubles as a No Man Left Behind moment.
  • 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.
  • Noodle Incident: The McAllister farm, another attack mentioned in deleted scenes.
  • One-Word Title: Abominable.
  • Orderlies are Creeps: Or rather "ordelies are Jerkasses" with Otis' way of mistreating Preston.
  • Pet the Dog: Ziegler’s demeanor when he finds Karen. The clerk saying what happened to Preston and his wife was a shame and asking how he’s doing. Otis going back into town to buy soy milk (although that's downplayed by his failure to buy it in the first place).
  • Please, Don't Leave Me: Karen says this word for word when Zeigler finds her,
  • 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!
  • Punk Rock: Tracy is a downplayed example but her tattoos, black leather boots, thong and purple spiderweb shirt hint at this.
  • "Rear Window" Homage: According to the commentary, this was partially due to the film's limited budget.
  • 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.
  • Refuge in Audacity: unable to find a good hiding place on the second floor Amanda sneaks back downstairs to where the monster is to hide (although this could also be an example of someone lucky being Too Dumb to Live.
  • Rejected Apology: CJ glaring at Tracy and turing up the music after the Food Slap incident.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: C.J. trying to flee in the jeep, although she gestures for Amanda to come to and stops to help her
  • 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.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Karen and her boyfriend, judging by how much of her screen time she spends trying to call him.
  • Skeptic No Longer-implied by Deputy Parker’s unease as the sheriff’s men go through the woods. Also CJ after she sees the broken glass outside the bathroom window.
  • Skewed Priorities: CJ accused Michelle of having this for not wanting to read Karen’s. private text when she’s just disappeared.
  • Stag Party: The weekend is an engagement party for Michelle at C.J.'s uncle's cabin. While Michelle half-jokingly asks if he knows they're going to wreck it for the most part it's just an afternoon and evening of friends sitting around and reminiscing, drinking occasionally but not to excess (aside from a sen where they briefly chase each other around with spray foam).
  • Stating the Simple Solution: Not stating but when Tracy is apparently locked in the bathroom (taken by the creature) and they try to get in and can’t hear from her, CJ is the one who goes outside to check the window and sees it broken. Also Tracy calling the police when Karen vanishes.
  • 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.
  • The Stoner: CJ doesn't display most of the obvious signs but was smoking in the bathroom and made a big effort to clear up the smell when Karen knocked on the door.
  • 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.
  • Token Minority: CJ to her group of friends (notable given it being explicitly mentioned that she became friends with them at a later date than any of the others except maybe Karen). Also McBride to the sheriff’s office.
  • Too Happy to Live: All of the girls seem pretty happy and excited about the wedding before the monster shows up.
  • Volumetric Mouth: The yeti is able to open its mouth in a similar vein to a snake to devour its prey.
  • Vasquez Always Dies: She lasts a while but Tracy dies somewhat early on.
  • Virgin in a White Dress: The others jokingly ask if Michelle's going to wear a white dress at the wedding on account of this trope and how she apparently had a lot of boyfriends as a kid.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Karen and Hoss are dragged back into the shadows and while it’s safe to assume their killed we don’t see or hear anything explicitly violent then unlike with Billy and Zeigler.
  • What You Are in the Dark:
    • Otis attacking the creature with an axe after waking up when he could have hidden, especially as he didn’t even like Preston.
    • CJ leaving her hiding place upon realizing Michelle and Amanda were in danger.
    • Amanda not running away while the monster is distracted going after CJ (although this doesn’t amount to much) and not leaving Preston when he’s The Load.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Otis thinks he’s a Cloud Cuckoolanders Minder. CJ in her main Asian airhead moment thinks she's the Only Sane Woman and the warning is a prank phone call. Michelle, due to worrying that they’d be abandoning Karen when the others suggest driving off to get the police.