Trying to fall in love with film again.

We Are The Missing left me a little unsettled.

ImageStory

We are the Missing is a pseudo-documentary that follows the Madisons as they search for their missing daughter Riley.

The story is told in an interesting way and I think mockumentary is the way to go because of the way the story is executed. As we watch the mockumentary, we follow the Madisons but slowly the story shifts and shows a wider picture. If this was told in the story format we recognise it would be confusing as something happens to the audience proxy halfway through the movie and the story would appear disjointed.

 Acting

There's an authenticity to the performances in this movie. Especially with the characters, we spend the most time with. The way they react with us and each other makes it seem like a documentary rather than a mockumentary. It makes the film more tense because it's like these things are happening to real unsuspecting people. There were a few moments where the acting wasn't great but overall I'm pleased with the performances.

Writing/Direction 

I'd say this is one of the strongest parts of the film. Director Andrew J.D. Robinson did a good job of crafting a story with more to it than meets the eye. While the story, widens its scope halfway through, it doesn't feel like you're moving away from an established story. You're still focused on Riley's story but you're also shown something more sinister that affects not only her but those in the community where she lives.

The movie takes something that seems simple on the surface (missing persons cases are never simple but compared to where the film goes, it's simple) but asks questions that take the story in a really creepy direction. The more interviews you watch, the more that unsettled feeling grows. Especially when you find out what happens to some of the people that give those interviews. It also doesn't over-explain things or spoon-feed you information. You're left to draw up your own conclusions and let your mind wander.

The pacing is also one of the films strongest attributes. The movie starts out with something that captures your attention and it has your attention throughout. As I watched the movie, I thought to myself, this doesn't really feel like a horror movie but the horror elements come in around the halfway mark. The introduction of said elements feels organic rather than a jarring genre change.

I also have to mention that there are some beautiful establishing shots in this movie.

CGI/Set Design 

This is one category that I don't have much to say (shocking right?), here's why. This movie was shot at home and it looks like it and given the nature of the film and the way the story is told, it should look like it. These are interviews conducted in people's homes and it should look like it. Having it look like it was shot on a sound stage takes away the authenticity, the film is trying to convey.

Score/Soundtrack

There isn't a notable score here and while I would usually dock points, but I'm not mad about it. The silence adds to the eeriness of the film. There are some of the stereotypical horror movie screeches but they're few and far between and then they are used, they work.

Overall Thoughts

We are the Missing came to my attention after the team at WorkObeyFilms reached out on Twitter (crazy that I'm even typing this sentence) and asked if I accept review requests. (The answer is always a yes, just message me on Twitter or Instagram) I'm happy that I watched it because I was pleasantly surprised by the story execution.

I was also left a little unsettled at the end. There was one moment that made me jump and go "Oh Hell No!" out loud because of the on-screen revelation. (It also didn't help that my environment at that time wasn't conducive) The horror movies I enjoy the most are the ones that leave me unsettled rather than scared because I can get over being scared, but that feeling of uncertainty tends to stick around with me. There are some creepy moments in this movie and I think it hits when it needs to.

I also heard that this movie was made on a budget of $300 and I am really impressed. It shows that you don't need a large budget to make a decent movie that has an interesting premise and good execution.

If you want to watch We Are the Missing, you can watch it here.


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