Megan is Missing (2011)
Plot: Employing a mix of storytelling techniques (including webcam footage, video chats and dramatized news reports), this chillingly realistic thriller charts the disappearance of two teens who vanish three weeks apart under mysterious circumstances.
My Review: I heard about this movie first through reading about it on Netflix. I eventually read a couple reviews on their site stating it was very disturbing and disgusting. So, I figured what the heck I’ll give it a go. Plus, it was one of the higher rated “horror” movies on their site.
The first hour is painfully boring. Its two teenage girls standing in front of cell phones or cameras talking. Some parts they discuss first time blow jobs, or being molested. Honestly pretty shitty and disturbing for someone of my age (30) to listen to as the girls in the movie are 14/15 years old. Now, if I was their age, I wouldn’t have been uncomfortable really listening to them talk like this because I’d relate to their age group, but instead it was pretty disturbing and I found myself wondering what I was really in store for.
Now, I don’t know much about teenagers these days. But do they really always video chat with their friends instead of just voice chatting over a phone? I mean, if it was me, I wouldn’t video chat with friends I see on a day to day basis. I’d rather talk on the phone where it was harder for parents to listen in. But, I guess this is the way of the new generations! Anyhow, that’s how they get all the footage for this movie. Its all a mix up of webcam chat, cell phone chat, and a few news segments. So, for the purposes of this movie, yes, teenagers mainly video chat instead of using regular voice calls. Because of all the camera changing the audio is very up and down and all over the place. Pretty annoying! Especially while trying to watch late at night.
So, Megan is a popular girl, and her friend Amy is not so popular. But they are best friends. One of Megan’s other friends introduces her to “Josh”. An online guy supposedly from their school. Within a day or two Megan is already telling the guy she trusts him and they should meet. He stands her up one night, but she lets him off the hook. They make plans to meet, and she never returns from the meeting. I don’t know if this is how people chat online these days as a teenager. But it was not how it was done when I was a teenager. It all seemed a little funny and made Megan look so stupid.
Honestly, at this point, I decided I wasn’t going to bother writing a review for the movie. It was kinda boring, and I was sure it wasn’t going to pick up. It wasn’t really horror at all. Well, I was wrong, the tone changes later.
The movie starts to get a little funny. I know, its wrong of me to be laughing about it, because it is a serious issue, this sort of thing really did/does happen, and this movie was based on a few different real cases. But the problem is that the writing in this and the acting during certain scenes were just hilarious even without trying to be (I think?!? I’m not sure, maybe they were trying to be a little funny, who knows). Anyhow, there is this whole scene where they reenact Megan being abducted and it was just hilarious. They kept zooming into the real footage, over and over – on nothing! So here I am, laughing about that scene, and words come up on the screen saying that some images were found on a fetish website and here they are. Before I know it, two very unexpected disturbing images are shown. (if you are interested in these images, google image search “Megan is missing” you’ll see them. Or watch the movie). Anyhow, it was pretty much after they showed the first image that I said “holy fuck, what the fuck?!?” I paused it, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue. Now, I’m usually only squeamish when it comes to bugs. But for some reason, this REALLY got to me. Maybe its because I’ve been stalked online before, and I know shit like this has happened before for real. But it just really disturbed me. Going back after watching the movie and looking at the images I wasn’t as disturbed. But it was just so unexpected given the tone of the movie, that it really shocked me. As I said, seeing the images alone online after the fact, not so disturbing. Weird, but not disturbing.
So, the movie pretty much picks up from here and has a completely different tone then the rest of the movie. Amy alerts the police about Josh, and he’s not too happy, so he abducts her. He chains her up in a basement somewhere. She’s let out to be raped and at one point she sees Megan. It was only about 10 seconds before she saw Megan that I guessed Megan would be in this location. Freaked the crap out of me honestly. Again, I paused wondering if I should continue. I felt like such a pussy at this point, but I continued on.
The very ending is like 10 minutes of NOTHING. Because of the volume issues and not knowing if it was going to get louder I couldn’t hear what was going on. Which in the last 10 minutes its all about the sound. So needless to say, I didn’t hear much of Amy’s babbling at the end. I’m guessing it wasn’t much of a loss though.
Gore/FX: There are some “creepy” scenes that freaked me out, but I wasn’t expecting them. Had I been, I wouldn’t have been freaked out.
Sexual Content: Yes, there is a rape. No nudity. There is discussion of molestation and blow jobs.
Acting: Pretty brutal to get through. But eventually you don’t notice that its that bad and it almost flows naturally for people who aren’t supposed to be acting in the first place.
Overall: While the overall acting, story, etc, was pretty lame. I felt as a first watch the ending made up for it as it did spook me out. However, that doesn’t mean it’s a great movie by any means. I would never watch it again because it was painfully boring for the most part. So this makes it a hard one to rate.