Where’s My Mom

A Review of “Missing”


Cyrus Van Sickle

“Missing” is a film written and directed by Nicholas Johnson and Will Merrick, where a girl’s mother goes missing after a weekend vacation with her new boyfriend. It was released on January 20 and can be watched at multiple movie theaters as of right now. It can also be watched on Netflix, Roku, Disney+, and other streaming platforms in the future.

Cyrus Van Sickle, Reporter

I feel like everyone has thought about their parents or other family members going missing at least once in their life. It’s bad enough that I get worried whenever they randomly go somewhere without telling me or texting me about it later; I could never imagine how worrying it would be if it actually happened. Luckily for me, there was a movie that I watched that showed me how scary it would be, rather than experiencing it first hand (which would be a LOT scarier).

This last week, I went to watch “Missing,” a mystery thriller movie written and directed by Nicholas Johnson and Will Merrick, and was pleasantly surprised. I personally love thrillers and mystery movies, so I went into the theater having high hopes, but low expectations. The main reason why I had low expectations, to be clear, is because of previous movies I’ve seen that completely miss the point of this genre, which I believe is to make your audience second guess what’s really happening, make the twists and turns make sense while still being shocking and to not overdo everything to the point where it’s just confusing and annoying.

The main character, June, is written very well and genuinely develops over the course of the movie in a realistic way. One of the main plot points is that June’s father died earlier on in her life, leaving her with just her mother, Grace Allen, who is cautious with June because she doesn’t want to lose her either. Now, before Grace goes missing, it’s obvious that June doesn’t really care much about her mom, and acts as the stereotypical teenager who wants to party and live her own life without the restrictions of her parent. Once June discovers that her mom is nowhere to be found, she seems to be worried more and more as time passes. At a certain pivotal part in the movie (no spoilers), it seems that she feels guilty for not being more loving towards her mom, which is clearly shown as she looks back at their old texts and listens to her mom’s neglected voicemails that she would send her. I’ve seen my fair share of movies that don’t develop characters properly, so I give props to the directors with this movie.

The other thing I’d like to go over is that the movie has a format they call “screenlife,” which is basically where the film is shown through different screens of technology, like laptops, phones, and smartwatches. I was intrigued with this simply because I’ve never seen a format like this, but it worked well. At certain points in the movie, because I was “seeing it” through different smart devices’ cameras, it made it more scary to me since I sometimes have those creepy thoughts of me opening up my phone camera and all of a sudden someone is standing behind me. Assuming that that is a relatable thing and not just me being paranoid, then the tone of this movie with its screenlife format is pretty eerie and makes you feel uncomfortable, but is also just new and interesting.

I could go on for a while talking about what I liked about this movie, but I highly encourage you to check it out for yourself. It may not be a big scary horror movie, but it’s supposed to be creepy and uncomfortable, making you genuinely ask what will happen next. The twists and turns are done pretty well, the characters are realistic and have good reactions, and overall it’s just a really good movie.