Director: Peter Facinelli
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Runtime: 95 Minutes
Main Cast: Anne Heche, Thomas Jane, Jason Patric, John D. Hickman, Peter Facinelli, Alex Haydon, Aleksei Archer, Kristopher Wente, Rebecca Lines
Plot: Wendy (Anne Heche) and Paul (Thomas Jane) are going on a family camping trip with their daughter just before Thanksgiving, but whilst setting up they realise their daughter has gone missing. The pair will stop at nothing to find her, especially when the local police aren’t coming up with many leads.
My Thoughts: Whilst scrolling through Netflix I spotted The Vanished and the description sounded exactly like the kind of movie I love to watch. I’d never heard of it though so I checked out some reviews on Letterboxd and they weren’t the greatest which put me off. However. We’re still living in a worldwide pandemic, with no opening date for UK cinemas in sight and when it comes to new movie releases, beggars can’t be choosers so I was willing to give it a go. And actually, I’m glad I did, because whilst this wasn’t a perfect movie, I enjoyed it a lot.
In my opinion, the best movie in this sub-genre is Prisoners (2013), so that’s where the bar is set. The Vanished definitely isn’t up there on that level, there are a lot of things it gets wrong and for a relatively short movie it drags quite a bit in the middle. Where it lacks in intruige it overflows in the mystery element. The disappearance of the young girl happens so early and the clues and hints as to what has happened to her are abundant. It’s probably a fun movie to watch together with someone so you can throw your theories around. I for one am glad I watched it alone and not with my husband, who you all know has the weirdest super power of spotting twists a mile off.
It’s a tough movie to review without giving anything away, so if you have seen it let me know! I won’t claim to have worked out what happened but I was close. I’m always happy to be proved wrong! Don’t take my word for it though, give it a go whilst we’re still waiting for the big hitters to be released. I’m known for loving terrible mystery movies so I might be setting you up for a disaster, but I definitely think there’s something to enjoy here.
Best Bit: As with all movies like this, it’s such a great moment when the pieces finally click into place and you realise what’s happened just before the characters do. I also greatly enjoyed the moment the plot went from a simple disappearance to an absolute mess, I wasn’t expecting that.
Worst Bit: The movie definitely wanted me to suspect one particular character but I never could. When you watch enough mystery movies you get a bit of a radar for characters that you know you can trust, no matter what light the movie decides to show them in. So it was a little annoying and I really felt for this particular character!
Fun Trivia: When Anne Heche is in the campsite’s shop renting movies, there’s a copy of the movie Volcano on the shelf. Anne appeared in the movie Volcano in 1997.
My Rating: 3 and a half pink blankets…if you know, you know!