- Directed by Heitor Dhalia
- February 24, 2012
When her sister goes missing, a young woman is convinced her kidnapper has returned.
Honestly the totality of Gone could be best summarized as a superior Lifetime movie. This might be the rare case I don’t mean such a statement in a less than flattering way. While not great, it is an enjoyable bit of fluff that works better than most.
In this story years ago a woman escaped a bizarre killer and no one believes her and if that doesn’t sound straight from the Lifetime network I don’t know what does. Now he’s returned and appears to have taken her sister and she’s got to save her.
At 90 minutes there isn’t much extra in this movie which certainly helps make any movie better. Even the worst films or film ideas can be improved by a lack of excess. Our main character of Jill (Amanda Seyfried) follows one clue to the next as she races through the city. The plot is built around the idea of a ticking clock as it is implied that the killer will kill her sister Molly (Emily Wickersham) sooner rather than later.
Gone looks to me to be done on a tight budget. Fortunately they don’t reach beyond their grasp. They do not try to do something big when they only have the money to do something medium. Having a Lifetime movie plot and accompanying budget, Heitor Dhalia here manages to ring a better than he should experience for the viewer. The pace is steady but not rapid and he effectively builds the tension slowly until the final moments.
The missing woman’s boyfriend Billy (Sebastian Stan) is not turned into central character as can often happen. Billy is very much a supporting character who helps her as much as possible. And that goes for other characters. Everyone that counts in this is as much on Jill’s side as they possibly can be. They are not working against Jill nor are they helping her beyond all logic.
Our central character of Jill is realistically creative in her search. She knows some civilian playing detective would not go over well with anyone so she creates believable lies to get the information that she needs. She is also informed by her experience and that combination keeps her moving.
The police aren’t over antagonistic towards her either. They don’t believe her otherwise we wouldn’t have a movie. They just don’t think she is telling the truth given her personal history. It’s quite believable why they don’t. She’s had a history of mental illness and her story does not match up in any way with anything they are aware of. There are plenty of real life serial killers that have gone undetected for years because the police have nothing to connect the victims.
And I find that a bit of a flaw. By the end of the movie her sister is safe and she’s gotten revenge on her kidnapper but they never really seem to explain all that well where these other women that Jill is aware of were coming from and the whole situation with the kidnapper. They kind of leave it dangling even though the ending does show that the police learn Jill was telling the truth with the only epilogue being Lt. Ray Bozeman (Michael Paré) getting solid proof in the closing moments.
Gone is a better than it should be thriller. It’s steadily paced with surprisingly believable characters and enough plausibility that you buy into what is happening. I’m going to recommend this one but say you will not feel like you wasted your time if you stumble across it and choose to watch.