Absentia, or technically "in absentia", means in the absence of. So you can quickly surmise what Death in Absentia means. And this is what our lead character, Tricia (Courtney Bell), is dealing with as our film opens. Her former drug-addict sister Callie (Katie Parker) has just arrived from parts unknown to help Tricia go through the motions of declaring her husband dead in absentia. Daniel has been missing - zapped from the face of the Earth - for some seven years. Gone. Without a trace. A very pregnant Tricia welcomes her rehabbing sister home with welcome arms and they reminisce a bit about old times and what each has been up to before they get down to discussing laying her missing husband's memory to rest, both emotionally and legally.
Callie takes to daily jogging, perhaps to clear her head and keep herself focused on her goals. She is drawn to a local walking tunnel, a cement one under a highway that leads to a park. But this is no ordinary tunnel, it's dark and creepy and full of a foreboding malice. No one in their right mind would actually choose to jog or walk through this tunnel, even in the daylight. On one trip, Callie is startled to find a homeless man in the tunnel, and channeling her inner new-found Christianity, she talks to him - only to find him a rambling, disheveled derelict. He keeps mumbling about he fact that she can see him, and asks for a trade. Thinking he is asking for food, she promises to bring him something to eat and jogs home quickly.
Tricia begins having what she thinks are dreams about Daniel, in the strange, scary fashion as her daytime visions. She visits a psychologist who tells her that once she has put the entire manner behind her, things will ease up and she can move on.
But when she does just that and has herself a date with her baby daddy Detective, they are barely out the door when they see Daniel (Morgan Peter Brown) standing in the street. Alive.
Now here's where it gets tricky, folks. "Ta-Da!-I'm-Alive-Daniel" is pretty much an unhinged mess, taken to babbling bouts of paranoia and in obvious distress. He starts rambling about something coming for him and being in some sort of "underworld". Before his release at the hospital, he was also found to have animal bones partially digested in his stomach, and of course there is the question as to why he still was wearing the same clothes he disappeared in over seven years prior.
Callie, becoming more and more anxious with both Daniel's behavior and the disconcerting tunnel, takes to hitting the magic box she hid under the bed. Seems her addiction isn't quite behind her. So when she is higher than a kite the night Daniel is "taken" again, the detectives on the case certainly can't depend on her story being based in reality.
She claims that something came after him, a monster.
She does her own investigation on the internet and discovers that there have been way too many disappearances in the neighborhood, going back a few hundred years. Not just people, but pets as well. Something lurks in that tunnel. Something that has been there a lot longer than they have.
As I've said a hundred times, it is so much scarier to try and process what isn't there than for it to be blantantly exposed to us.
Last thoughts? See this film. It's a slow burn, but you won't be able to take your eyes off the screen. It is vastly different than any of the reprocessed rubbish that continues to be green-lighted in horror today. You will not be disappointed.