Missing emerges with an engaging zoomer update to the noir thrillers of the past

Storm Reid, “Missing” Photo Credit: Temma Hankin – © 2021 CTMG, All Rights Reserved.

Absence is a film that is way better than it should be. It takes place entirely from the point of view of the various cameras – phone, computer, security – that monitor and record the characters throughout the day, every day. Teen screen addict June “Junebug” Allen’s mother, Grace, has taken a 10-day getaway to Colombia with her new boyfriend. When Grace goes missing, June uses every app on her laptop to solve the mystery of her kidnapping without leaving the comfort of her bedroom.

on his face Absence is a zoomed version of popular moralistic thrillers from the 1980s like Fateful attraction and primal instinctin which the action is accelerated by a hero’s fatal mistake, leading to an emotionally manipulative but satisfying climax.

In case of Fateful attraction, it was Michael Douglas’ married businessman Dan Gallagher and his inability not to cheat on his wife with Glenn Close’s psychotic stalker Alex Forrest. In AbsenceThe story revolves around June’s inability to appreciate her mother and everything she sacrificed to ensure her mother grew up happy, safe, and spoiled.

While the film’s story borders on the ridiculous at times, the sillier moments are sustained by the engaging performances by a quartet of actors who serve as the emotional core.

Storm Reid, who plays Junebug in the lead, carries the film almost to a one-woman show at many points, and through the sheer power of her charisma helps us forget the many times we hear teen movie tropes like “Hey ‘mom’s gone let’s throw a rager in my house’ party montage. While Reid is little older than her character, her resume includes supporting roles in several hit television shows and films, and she impresses with her ability to carry this film as the lead.

Rounding out the main cast are Joaquim de Almeida as a Colombian taskrabbit freelancer and Allen’s unlikely ally, Ken Leung in a sleazy but appealing role as Allen’s friend Kevin and Nia Long, who “plays the Nia Long role” as June’s missing mother Grace.

Structurally, Absence reminiscent of the films that made up the global neo-noir film wave of the 1990s. It has a similar structure to titles of this movement wild things, in which each character is not who they appear to be, with a back half that takes the viewer from one twist to the next, some predictable and others less so. As with its predecessors, your enjoyment depends entirely on whether you’re a few steps ahead of the story or whether you’re willing to sit back and let yourself be taken on a journey.

Absence is the standalone sequel to the low-budget smash of 2018 Search, with a similarly drawn story of John Cho’s attempt by David Kim to solve his daughter’s disappearance, told through computer screens. The creative core of this film, writer Sev Ohanian and writer/director Aneesh Chaganty, wrote a 26-page draft for Absence and turned it over SearchThe writing and directing editorial team at , Nick Johnson and Will Merrick, worked well together.

Most importantly, this is a film that could actually make its target audience of teens stop staring at their phones long enough to enjoy it, while offering a tight thriller plot that will also keep their parents busy should.


Buoyed by an appealing cast, a strong star by Storm Reid, and a tightly written and directed story, Missing is far better than it deserved.

https://wegotthiscovered.com/reviews/review-missing-turns-up-with-an-appealing-zoomer-update-to-the-noir-thrillers-of-the-past/ Missing emerges with an engaging zoomer update to the noir thrillers of the past

Lindsay Lowe

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