Film Journal 2023: Missing
Directed by Nicholas Johnson and Will Merrick
There is a simple and satisfactory summation i could employ here to say, if you enjoyed searching you will likely enjoy Missing. However, part of what makes Missing a successful follow up to Searching, the Directors previous debut, is viewing the two films in concert with one another. Beyond the shared style and approach, both films telling their stories entirely through the employment of external screens and devices, Missing provides the filmmakers with an opportunity to build on what they did with Searching by exploring different techniques and ideas. This adds a dimension of fun and play to the natural exercise of following the clues along with the on screen characters (with different scripted clues being offered to us as viewers along the way) and putting the different pieces of the puzzle together. It helps this story to stand apart and be/do it’s own thing.
One suggestion- avoid the trailers if you can. Go into this cold and enjoy the whole experience without the spoilery plot points from the trailer lingering in your mind. That will help give the first half of the film far more mileage. That aside though, this is a solid sophomore effort that proves itself with its attention to detail, some solid casting, and strong pacing. There’s nothing too demanding here, but it earns the sentimentality and the necessary tension befitting a solid, low grade thriller.