Review Of Missing

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Missing is another Screenlife adaptation after the success of Searching directed by Nicholas D. Johnson and Wil Merrick, which is a story about family members who appear to have disappeared without any sign left behind. Johnson and Merrick were a virtual photography director and an editor for Aneesh Chaganty’s Searching respectively but are now also writing and directing Missing following a sibling story idea that came from Chaganty and Sev Ohanian (co-writer). It’s not really like the second part of anything but more of filmmakers coming back together — Missing instead takes a computer-versed 18-year-old search for her mother by this time. Searching uses technology as a narrative trope (in its character design), whereas Missing puts all that power on someone who knows too well how to hide behind one screen or another. It is audacious, however, there is no browser crawling with suspense or any iMessaging in this version—“screen” means less “life.”

The main character is played by Storm Reid, although it simply sits on the chair – June; or as Grace Allen (Nia Long), her concerned mother refers to her, Junebug. The mystery begins when June arrives at LAX to pick up Grace as well as hopeful step dad Kevin (Ken Leung) from their romantic Colombian vacation. When neither Grace nor Kevin comes out, she gets confused. We immediately get thrown into Searching as we hear phone buzzes go unanswered and dial tones play before us along with deceptive webs reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s novels crossed with Tumblr culture.” Reid fearlessly does so while executing several talk scenes between US Embassy agents (Agent Park played by Daniel Henney), South American Taskrabbit workers (Javi portrayed by Joaquim de Almeida), and besties appearing in front door security camera feed (Veena enacted by Megan Suri).

Managing screen-recorded parts seems less utilitarian but more film-like now. The Missing camera frequently zooms in on certain details or ignores the fact that it is being watched as though from a computer. While using Google maps street views, Steven Holleran who was the cinematographer moves like we are driving along roads and switches windows without real-time constraints which feels strange. Searching adheres to Screenlife, while Missing does not take such a strict sub-genre approach in opposition to films such as The Den or Unfriended. That may be a signal for those who don’t approve of Screenlife, yet for me as someone still interested by Timur Bekmambetov’s movies and Searching; I find myself a bit reluctant to embrace the fluidity of Missing as it pertains to Screenlife navigation. It could be just my own issue.

Missing is progressing more like a play than Searching does. June realizes her mother Grace, her only surviving parent is trapped in an ever-changing disappearance that Reid brings out through sheer panic. The difference between Missing and Searching created by Johnson and Merrick is also tied up with the generation gap between June and David Kim performed by John Cho who use simple clues in the form of abbreviations typed on the sticky notes app versus organized Excel spreadsheet in case of David Kim’s situation . There are more moments where they guess passwords, and FaceTime laptops constantly so that she can see Reid’s face between short emotional encounters with $8-an-hour freelancers overseas — but what this means is the worse Grace gets, the harder it is for us not to get engaged into intrigue about her predicament.

Johnson and Merrick are less in charge as directors, but that’s nearly endearing. As Missing spirals into a mess of true crime special commentaries and pen pal relationship building, June’s performance finds new gears. It’s ultimately not as good at being a Screenlife authentic movie but it is more assertive about the possibility of crimes than any other film, which could be a horror movie just like you need to know. Missing relies on its unknown elements staying unknown, which are worth enough of the digital roller coaster to experience with fresh eyes.


Despite its tech-savvy confidence,” this fact does not make Missing better than Searching but still makes it an acceptable platform for desperate investigations via WIFI. Nicholas D. Johnson and Will Merrick veer into their generational lane when it comes to “what is seen in Missing,” making the latter opt for screen moments that are loose on Screenlife definitions. There is something vitalizing about Missing that actively abstains from aping Searching – both positively and negatively. Reid ensures this laptop-captured thrillseeker doesn’t ultimately crash and deserves kudos for delivering a screen-grabbing performance via audio conversations, video chats, and sometimes zero supporting help besides a blinking cursor. With international expansion missing gets bigger —but no better—more Screenlife thrills as ever can be witnessed here.

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