Friday, August 31, 2012

MEGAN IS MISSING (2011) movie review

Megan is Missing (2011) d. Michael Goi (USA)

Setting a found footage film within the particular circle of hell that is “party-hearty 14-year-old girls” is a daring enough premise as it is, since it is bound to test the patience and empathies of anyone who is not a party-hearty 14-year-old girl. We are introduced to shy, decent Amber Perkins and tramptastic mean girl Rachel Quinn – somehow inexplicably BFFs – through cell phone chats and self-recorded video footage, but when Quinn is presumably kidnapped by a social network stalker, it sends shock waves through the community, particularly for odd duck Perkins.

Writer/director Goi’s feature alternates between grating and exploitative, purely-for-thrills illogic paired with on-camera confessionals, and could be easily written off as a complete waste of time…if not for the presence of three specific moments (and they are just moments) of sheer, unadulterated, and earned terror. Whether they resonate so clearly because of the tedium that surrounds them is debatable (do we really need that 10-minute real-time coda?) – as is whether they make the movie worth seeking out – but they are undeniably effective in and of themselves. (No spoilers, but for the informed: Photo #2, Hand in Frame, and Barrel.)

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