Abducted is a multi-layered thriller loosely based on real events. This film begins with a focus on one family, and while they remain front and center, other key players come into the story and add more depth.
Derrick Desjardins (Joel Oulette) and his sister Lakota (Olivia Kate Iatridis) have been raised by their now ailing grandmother, Marie (Helen Calahasen). Both are going through the typical teenage years’ trials and are skeptical about their grandmother’s choice to see a medicine man to cure her illness. Derrick is an aspiring musician and a solid student, while Lakota is on a more dangerous path. Her involvement with local drug dealers puts her in the wrong place at the wrong time, leading to abduction by a dangerous man. With their grandmother away, Derrick takes charge of the search to find his sister and is joined by her friend and associate, Lisa Cardinal (Pooky G). The search is dangerous, and Derrick soon discovers that there are other threats to his family along the way.
The cast of Abducted gave solid performances, and there were a couple of standouts for me. Pooky G adds a lot of character as Lisa Cardinal, and Chris Pereira did a great job in the role of Tyson Muirhead. Tyson has been abducting and murdering local women, and the film provides a deeper look at his psychological state and how he came to be this way. I really enjoyed his side story and the scenes that flashed back to his childhood.
The film begins with a suspenseful beginning scene, and this drew me in as a viewer. It took a little bit longer to become invested in the characters, but once I got to know them I wanted to continue and discover the outcome of the story. There’s a lot of action in the film, and this balances well with the more somber and quiet scenes. The score and soundtrack are both a good fit for this film, and the cinematography was quality for a lower-budget piece.
I do have to mention a few moments that came across as somewhat cheesy—namely the fight scenes. They were lacking a bit of choreography and came across looking rather fake, which made for some comedy, and I don’t think that was the intention of the scenes. Other than a handful of moments, Abducted was an enjoyable and engaging film to watch.
As mentioned, this film has layers. The surface-level story is about abduction and rescue, but it goes much deeper. There are many themes at play here, and most circle back to the family and their indigenous roots. Tyson’s story shows the possible effects of childhood trauma and abuse, and with Derrick’s story, viewers are shown systemic racism against indigenous people, and the teen siblings’ struggle to embrace their heritage and traditional practices amidst the culture they live in. Lakota’s abduction storyline is inspired by actual events involving women’s bodies showing up in the Edmonton area since the 1970s. Some women are still missing, many of which are indigenous people, and the suspect has not been caught.
If you’re looking for a thriller with some heart that’s not your run-of-the-mill abduction story, Abducted is worth a watch. Overall it’s an engaging story that leaves an impact on the viewer, likely for a while after the end credits have rolled.
7 out of 10