: When a mysterious corpse is found in a river, a distressed police officer delves into a string of grisly murders as danger quickly approaches. 


Deputy police officer Wu Chieh (Janine Chang) is on the brink of killing herself after her depression-suffering partner commits suicide. But her attempt is thwarted by a group of teenagers who stumbled upon a dead body. Shortly, together with a rookie (Chloe Xiang), she is assigned to the case by her Captain.

The victim turned out to be a runaway migrant worker with her finger missing and body mutilated. Subsequent clues point them to You-sheng (Ethan Juan), a grocery shop owner who doubles up as a middleman for runaway illegal migrant workers.

The mystery deepens when You-sheng helps to bury a corpse and his best friend, a taxi driver is suspected to be involved in the killing spree. Who is the real killer here and what is the motive behind the murders?

Similar to the acclaimed Netflix series, Port of Lies which starred Christopher Lee as a unconventional prosecutor, The Abandoned also touches on the plight of migrant workers in Taiwan instead of just another disturbing serial killer movie. While of course this is not a documentary on runaway migrant workers, it marks for an interesting look at a country not known for employing migrant workers in the past.

The narrative mostly divides its time between Chieh and You-sheng, each fighting their own inner demons in addition to solving the increasing cases of migrant workers being mercilessly murdered. Chieh is guilt-ridden for not paying attention to her suffering future spouse and she wants to join him in the after-life if not for the appearance of this horrifying case. You-sheng on the other hand wants to lay his hands on the culprit for killing his ex-girlfriend.

The process is more than compelling enough throughout and no doubt director Tseng Ying-ting and the cinematographers did an excellent job crafting the mounting tension and atmosphere. The crime thriller successfully delivers a few heart-pounding chases and the finale is treated with a good measure of brutality and disturbances to bring a closure to the case.

For a crime flick which runs less than two hours, The Abandoned packs enough suspense and superb character driven performances from Chang and Juan. Definitely a good start to 2024.  


Review by Linus Tee



Genre: Crime/Thriller
Janine Chang, Ethan Ruan, Chloe Xiang, Yu An-Shun, Simon Xue, Sajee Apiwong, Bruce Chen, Brando Huang Fu Meng Po
Director: Tseng Ying-Ting
Rating: NC16 (Some Nudity and Coarse Language)
Year Made: 2022
Official Website: 



Languages: Mandarin & Thai
Subtitles: English/Simplified Chinese/Traditional Chinese
Running Time: 1 hr 44 mins