Friday, February 24, 2012


This movie review of "Gone" was written by guest blogger Liz Parker...

Amanda Seyfried has come a long way since 2004's Mean Girls, and Gone showcases her at her best. Although there are various supporting characters throughout the film, the movie focuses on her character, for the most part, and audiences must decide if her character really did get abducted two years ago or if it's all in her head, as the police seem to think.

Jill (Seyfried, In Time) lives in Portland (Oregon) with her sister, Molly (Emily Wickersham, I Am Number Four), a student. Jill works nights at a local diner, and she's vigilant about walking by herself at night; in one scene, a man wearing a hoodie walks briskly down the street towards Jill, who crosses to the other side of the street to avoid him, just in case. One night, Jill returns from work around 6:30am and goes to wake up Molly, who has an exam that day; Molly, however, is nowhere to be found. Jill quickly canvasses the house, but all she finds missing are her sister's purse and an old picture taken out of a picture frame. Panicked, she drives to the police station, and tells them that the person who abducted her two years ago, from the very same house, has taken Molly. They also must find her quickly because he will probably kill her that night, like he intended to do with Jill.

A new police officer, Hood (Wes Bentley, There Be Dragons), is taken with Jill's story and believes her, until another detective, Powers (Daniel Sunjata, One For the Money), tells her more of Jill's story: they never found the hole in the woods where she claimed her abductor had taken her, even though they searched high and low for it. Jill's parents had died within a few month of one another, and she had been on suicide watch in the hospital immediately after; she also has been in and out of psych wards. Jill said her abductor grabbed her from her bed, and that there were bones in the hole of other girls who had died there; however, there were no witnesses and nothing to back up Jill's story. Jill knows the police are not going to help her, and in fact think that she is lying, so she must find her sister herself, before she runs out of time.

Yes, definitely see this movie. The film was a lot better than I thought it would be. It's sort of a mix of Twilight - scenery-wise only, with sweeping overhead views of the forest, and also made by the same company, Summit Entertainment - and The Lovely Bones, in that this captor was just as cunning as the murderer in that movie. Seyfried is at her best here, and the flashbacks we see of her struggling to get free of the hole are powerful, in that they are sparse but leave a lasting impact. It's also interesting to try and figure out if her character is completely insane and prone to paranoia, or if she truly did get kidnapped the first time; from the flashbacks, I assumed that she did, but the police refused to believe her.

I was debating whether to give this movie 4 or 4.5 stars out of 5, but I am going with the lower rating because there were still some loose ends that I would have liked to have seen answered. Why, for example, did Jill's captor abduct her the first time? We see that she is abducted from her bed in her home - which, for some reason, she never moved out of, even though the kidnapper was still free somewhere - but no other back story is given. Since then, Jill took some self-defense classes, and has gotten smarter; but not too smart, apparently, since she agrees to meet the kidnapper back in the woods, hoping that he has Molly. I also wondered why the police didn't keep looking for the kidnapper, especially since more and more murders kept popping up in the park area. Despite these unanswered questions, however,  Gone is a fast-paced thriller that is definitely worth seeing.

Gone is in theaters today, February 24th, and is rated PG-13 with a runtime of 94 minutes. 4 stars out of 5.

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Liz Parker is a 2009 graduate of the University of Michigan. She currently works as an Assistant Medical Editor for a pathology website. Visit her at her movie blog Yes/No Films
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