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Review: ‘Megan is Missing’ Does Hit Close to Home and Can Be Every Parents Worst Nightmare

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Review: 'Megan is Missing' Does Hit Close to Home and Can Be Every Parents Worst Nightmare

Megan is a 14 year old girl who has had a troubled life. She struggles with drug use, sexual trauma, and general family dysfunction. Amy is a relatively normal 14 year old who still has her innocence compared to the other kids in her age group. Megan and Amy find solace in each other due to their large contrasts in personality. Things take a turn for the worst when the unexpected happens and Megan goes missing.

Megan is Missing is a 2011 found footage movie directed by Michael Goi (“Scream Queens”, “American Horror Story”). Filmed in 2006, Goi had issues finding distribution until 2011. Goi dubbed the film as “educational” and had the intention of highlighting real life dangers that teenagers face with modern day technology. It was officially banned in New Zealand with officials stating that the film is “injurious to the public good”. Megan is Missing does hit close to home and can be every parents worst nightmare. It can be a difficult watch at times but it does suffer some flaws.

The story is told through different shots meant to be from various devices. It’s a mix of webcams, video chats, news footage, and general video use by teens. We get introduced to the characters and their lives. The film centers around two girls named Megan and Amy who are friends. Amy has a difficult time fitting into Megan’s friend group. For example, there is a scene where the two girls attend a party and while Megan is happily partaking in the wild things that teens supposedly do, Amy is ridiculed by the other teens and eventually leaves.

Megan is Missing

Megan starts chatting online with a character named Josh. She agrees to meet up with Josh and from that point, Megan goes missing. The police have a hard time finding evidence or leads except for some CCTV footage. Amy decides to reach out to Josh knowing that Megan was interacting with him. She takes the investigation into her own hands and this lands her in a world of trouble down the line. What makes all of this any more disturbing and worthy of a ban in New Zealand?

*SPOILER ALERT*

Amy is eventually kidnapped by Josh. The police find a video camera that has footage of both girls and it’s not pretty. We see Amy is being held captive in a basement or a dungeon type of situation. She is severely abused by the kidnapper and we see a good portion of that abuse. She is raped and is forced to eat out of a dog bowl. Eventually, she is instructed to get into a barrel with promises that she will be released. The barrel contains the decomposing body of Megan but Amy gets in. We then see the kidnapper take the barrel and bury it in the woods.

*END SPOILER*

So, it does have it’s place in this review series. There are disturbing themes at play and graphic shots that usual horror fans would find difficult to sit through. And like most of these movies, it centers around a real life horror rather than our typical monsters, demons, and ghosts. However, this film is not recommended and finds itself at the hands of a lot of criticism. Although this time, it’s not because of it’s general theme.

Megan is Missing 2011 Image

The “found footage” concept is one those things that you either love or you hate. It is frequently under fire but when a found footage film is done well, it’s good. This one had all of the potential to be that. In 2011, using modern technology as a means to record every day life was a very fresh concept. The film has various plot holes and things that don’t make a lot of sense but, that wasn’t the downfall. The acting is pretty terrible. When you make “found footage” films, the one thing that you can not spare expense on are good actors. It blows the entire illusion and brings down the whole experience.

I will say that the film did a pretty good job at keeping my attention. However, with the poor acting involved, it was hard to take it too seriously. I was able to perk up a bit when we got to the graphic scenes but all of the scenes leading up to this was not worth the “pay off”, for lack of a better term. If you’re a hardcore “disturbing movies” fan and you are set on seeing them all, check this one out. But if you are only into these movies if they provide a sense of quality, then skip this one and watch something a little more worth while.

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