Film Review

Few scenarios worry parents as much as the prospect of a missing child. Whether it’s a temporary union at the mall or a much more traumatic experience mentally, it’s a possibility that can never be completely ignored. With The VanishedFilmmaker and actor Peter Facinelli translates basic fear into a compact, consistently unpredictable thriller that offers few guarantees, but lots of surprises.

Facinelli’s version of this disturbingly familiar story takes place almost entirely outdoors in the woods of Alabama, not far from Tuscaloosa. In the opening scenes, the Michaelson family appears like any other, going on a long weekend out together: parents Paul (Thomas Jane) and Wendy (Anne Heche) occupy the front seat of the RV their 10-year-old daughter Taylor (Kk Heim) and dog Lucky relax in the background.

Key point

Absolutely unbelievable and randomly entertaining.

RELEASE DATE August 21, 2020


Wendy leads them all in ragged performances of street buskers while Paul guides their mobile home to a lakeside campsite, where they receive a hostile welcome at the border. gender from middle-aged owner Tom (John D. Hickman). His yard keeper Justin (Alex Haydon) isn’t much friendlier, but the family quickly settles down, parked next to a camper occupied by attractive young Miranda (Aleksei Archer) and her husband Eric (Kristopher Wente).

Only ten minutes pass before Taylor mysteriously disappears, an episode worth stopping at the beginning, usually after significantly more plot and character development. The tendency to see this as an important pacing miscalculation takes some time to dissipate, as Facinelli is clearly more than a standard children’s movie’s rote staging.

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The next plot twist quickly follows, as Sheriff Baker (Jason Patric) and Deputy Rakes (Facinelli) arrive to investigate Taylor’s disappearance, bringing with him news that an armed and dangerous criminal The danger that escaped from a nearby prison may be lurking in the woods around the campsite. Although Baker doesn’t think the fugitive has anything to do with the missing child, for their own safety, he warns Wendy and Paul not to join law enforcement’s search in the area. area.

However, the worried parents weren’t inclined to stop looking for their daughter from afar and soon sneaked off to work late at night on their own, leading to a terrible accident. As various agencies begin to emerge, the sheriff realizes he may be dealing with something far more sinister than just a missing person case, as Paul and Wendy keep pushing. pressed him for information about finding Taylor.

Facinelli, whose acting credits include Sunset franchise, added the director to his resume with the year 2018 Break & Exita fun comedy with a stylistic difference with The Vanished, for which he also wrote the screenplay. The change to the original edgy tone follows horror movie conventions pretty closely, revealing sordid details about creepy RV park employees, applying Rear window jokes to ask the motives of helpful neighbors Miranda and Eric and even casts suspicion on alcoholic police chief Baker, who is grappling with his own personal tragedies.

As Paul and Wendy’s attempts to locate Taylor go from panic to despair and then to total lunacy, it looks like Facinelli might be changing the genre again, turning to ink-black comedy. It’s a suspicion largely confirmed by the film’s ending, to which audiences may react with confusion, skepticism, or amusement, if they don’t abandon the film immediately when the final montage ends. Let’s re-arrange the whole story.

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Facinelli may not be too particular about the specifics of these reactions, as long as he captures everyone’s attention. Inevitably, Heche and Jane escalate the stakes with focused frenzy, as their concern for Taylor’s welfare shifts to dominance and eventually to full-blown hysteria. Executing a subtle escalation tactic, Patric does not offer the secure stance one might expect from a devoted attorney, too traumatized by his own failures to prepare. traumatized the couple for a tragedy he anxiously anticipates.

When Facinelli finally delivers a mostly unpredictable expression that brutally cuts expectations for the typical children’s drama, viewers may feel either cruelly manipulated or partially disillusioned. unexpected rewards, or maybe both.

Distributor: Saban Films
Production company: Ingenious Media, The Exchange, SSS Entertainment
Actors: Thomas Jane, Anne Heche, Jason Patric, Peter Facinelli, Aleksei Archer, Kristopher Wente, John D. Hickman, Alex Haydon, Kk Heim
Director and screenwriter: Peter Facinelli
Producers: Andrew Mann, Sasha Yelaun, Jeff Elliott, Brandon Menchen
Executive Producers: Nadine Luque, Simon Williams, Shaun Sanghani, Joseph Lanius, Alastair Burlingham, John Jencks, Joe Simpson, Jay Taylor, Brian O’Shea, Nat McCormick, Giovanna Trischitta, Peter Winther, Chris Mullinax, Aleksei Archer, William V. Bromiley, Shanan Becker, Johnathan Saba, Ness Saban
Director of Photography: Cory Geryak
Production Designer: Burns Burns
Costume Designers: Keannu McMurray, Alesha Mitchell
Editor: Vaughn Bien III
Music: Sacha Chaban
Casting directors: Brandy Goleman, Sarah East

R-rated, 115 minutes

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