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MISSING (2023)

Release Date: 01/20/23 [Cinemas]
Genre: Drama/Thriller

Studio: Sony Pictures Entertainment

"After her mother goes missing, a young woman tries to find her from home, using tools available to her online." 


When producer Timur Bekmambetov brought Unfriended to life in 2015, I thought it was a gimmick to attract the youths for its supernatural meets technology angle. But after watching it recently, I realized that just a few years ago, Unfriended laid the blueprint for the construction of the screenlife genre that has finally been perfected in Missing. I'm almost ashamed to admit I still thought the idea of a movie taking place on a MacBook screen was gimmicky and might be worth a laugh at a Tuesday matinee, but let me assure you, this is certainly not one to miss.


Eighteen year old June is left home alone while her mom Grace takes a vacation to Columbia with her boyfriend Kevin. June does the only responsible thing and throws a house party while her mom is away, planning to clean it all up before she has to pick them up from the airport. Except Grace and Kevin never appear in the terminal on the day they’re planned to return. Panicked and determined to find her mother, June kicks into a hyper-drive of private investigating to uncover information as quickly as possible, with the only resource available to her- the internet.


As a spiritual successor to Searching from 2018, Missing actually tackles head on the detour conversations that Searching only slightly touched on. As the story unfolds to the public, we see how people come to their own conclusions on her missing mother’s story and how this affects June. It’s a blunt commentary on the way we grab a hold of real life true crime stories and go off the rails with our own commentaries, theories, and overall reactions. It makes you stop and think about how your own screen time habits might affect the world around you.


Searching and Missing each present similar situations but with players on different levels. John Cho’s David Kim is not old by any means, but isn’t as swift with the computer the way June is. We see her swap in between apps and search tabs as a second nature. The way the screen flips and flies before our eyes, draws attention to how skillfully edited a movie like this really is.


I can’t stress enough how much this film blew me away. Had me on the edge of my seat, and even still thinking about it weeks later. It led me to seek out its predecessors, Unfriended and Searching, both of which are worth watching. But Missing has simply perfected this young genre, and it's definitely worth checking out all of these screenlife films. You might even get a whole theater to yourself or make friends with the other curious cats that give it a chance. Missing is now in theaters! 

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