Review: ‘ABERRANCE’ could be 2023’s most WTF film to date.


SYNOPSIS: When city dwellers Erkhmee and Selenge arrive at an old cabin deep in the Mongolian wilds, a foreboding settles over the couple. Erkhmee’s seemingly keen desire to provide a safe and nurturing space for his artistic wife is at odds with the violent actions and mannerisms their quizzical neighbor observes. As the neighbor digs deeper for the reason behind this aberrant behavior, only more questions and trouble arise.

A controlling husband and his skittish artist wife take some time in a remote cabin in the Mongolian woods. His behavior gives you the shivers immediately, even alarming the next-door neighbor and two close visiting friends. As Erkhmee tries to get Selenge to eat and take her pills, you know something in this relationship is wrong. But that’s only a slice of the madness coming at you in ABERRANCE.

Performances are stellar all around. The immersive camera work sets the film apart. As does the score, which sounds like a ticking cuckoo clock. The lighting is a character all its own. The script keeps you guessing. I definitely yelled, “WTF,” over and over during one particular scene. I was already there in my mind, but when you get to this moment (and you’ll know when you see it), you’ll better understand why that phrase burst forth audibly. All credible theories were thrown out the window beyond that point. Filmmaker Baatar Batsukh gives us a next-level tale of horror and deceit. Do not move an inch once the credits begin to flash. One last scene gets the gears moving. I have no doubt we’ve discovered a genre visionary in Batsukh. I fear whatever comes next.

Freestyle Digital Media will release the Mongolian horror feature film ABERRANCE on October 6, 2023.

ABERRANCE marks an impressive milestone as the first Mongolian horror feature to be released theatrically in the U.S. introducing Mongolian cinema to new audiences.

The film had its North American premiere at the 2023 SXSW Film Festival to positive reviews as an Official Selection in the Midnighters section.

ABERRANCE is the theatrical directing debut film by Baatar Batsukh who also co-wrote the film with Erdene Orosoo (Kinsman of the Sun) and Byambasuren Ganbat. The film stars an ensemble Mongolian cast of Selenge Chadraabal (Six Feet), Erkhembayar Ganbat, Yalalt Namsrai (Snowman), Oyundary Jamsranjav (Disorder), Badamtsetseg Batmunkhand, Bayarsanaa Batchuluun and Ariunbyamba Sukhee (Guardians). The film was produced by Enkhmandakh Nemekhbaatar, Trevor Doyle and Alexa Khan of Three Flames Pictures and Team Hero Production.


About Liz Whittemore

Liz grew up in northern Connecticut and was memorizing movie dialogue from Shirley Temple to A Nightmare on Elm Street at a very early age. She will watch just about any film all the way through (no matter how bad) just to prove a point. A loyal New Englander, a lover of Hollywood, and true inhabitant of The Big Apple.

Leave a Reply