Lest ye think that Mondo Macabro has cornered the market on Turkish Horror, heed this: Turkish Horror is alive and well, er ... it's alive, anyway, with Pathfinder Home Entertainment's release of the delicately titled The Abortion from 2006. Yes, there's more to that country's output than mottled vampires, flaming swords and glowing alligator people from the mid-'80s, but based on this one offering, that's not a good thing. Hopefully further exploration will reveal better films than this ham-handedly moralistic, ultra-derivative, style-is-not-enough (but that's all we got) er ... abortion of a movie.
Dancer Eda (the beautiful Akasya Asilturkmen) makes the painful decision to terminate her pregnancy even though she's hit week 16. Subtitle mystery-meat makes it unclear who the father is, the person she claims is her uncle (who's been shtupping her behind her boyfriend's back) or is the father her boyfriend Cenk (Murat Yildirim)? If the former, one can readily understand why she might opt for the comically sleazy side-alley surgical procedure. On the other hand, Cenk is a bit of a drip, so who knows? Anyway, after about three years, her daughter-that-wasn't finally gets around to haunting her and the real horror tries to begin.
But don't hold a Grudge if your Pulse doesn't quicken, and don't worry about that One Missed Call you pass up, waiting for some scares. You'll mostly wonder why Biray Dalkiran throws his hat into the Ring half a decade too late for anyone to care. That's right, while The Abortion isn't biding time as a lethargic melodrama, or making sure that every shot is a neo-arty, MTV-styled exercise in needless artifice, it's trotting out a bunch of home-computer-generated pseudo-scares that shamelessly mimic every J-Horror film to ever float down the pike.
When not made up to look like King Diamond, Eda's not-born daughter is rather cute, (strike one on the scares) otherwise - get your J-horror lists ready kids - she's running a phantom hand through mom's hair, or hovering over her bed, or whisping by in the background of a web-cam scene. You get the idea. Sadly, most of these effects might have elicited a shudder in the shut-in who's never seen a horror movie, but even that viewer would note that more sophisticated SPFX tools these days come bundled with iLife. Remaining are endless angled and tilted shots of clean looking buildings with super-imposed clouds rushing by, Matrix-type fast-mo/ slow-mo editing, overwrought melodrama and an unmistakable pro-life message that promises only a lake of fire for those who disagree.
Even with that pedigree, a few true horrors sneak through, like scenes of the little phantom dragging a fetus through the graveyard, (not scary but surely pushing the limits) or worse, the abortion sequence itself, which is inter-cut with an abysmal dance performance set to a disco version of Pachelbel's Cannon. I rest my case.