“Missing” executes the unique screenlife format

Sajjan Sandhu, Online editor-in-chief

“Stop scrolling! My mom is missing and I need your help!” This advertisement for the new movie “Missing” is the main reason why I was drawn to go see it in the theater. The movie is filmed as a screen recording of June Allen’s (Storm Reid) computer, and we see the characters through the PhotoBooth app. This is a format known as screenlife, which is also how the movie’s prequel “Searching” was filmed. However, the movie is about completely new characters. I can say that “Missing” is one of the most interesting and thrilling movies I have seen. 

The movie starts off with a background on June’s family, with a video of a young June playing with her father. The movie then shows files on the computer that lead the viewers to believe that her father had died of cancer, which is why her mother Grace Allen (Nia Long) had moved to California to start over. The movie then fast forwards years later to when June is a senior in high school, and her mother has a new boyfriend. The dramatic editing and music in the movie is suspenseful and entertaining, making every scene seem more interesting. 

When June’s mother tells her that she is going on a trip to Colombia with her boyfriend, the only thing on June’s mind is the party she has planned for when she has the house to herself. But what is supposed to be a fun-filled weekend for both June and her mother Grace Allen turns into a mysterious missing person’s case. 

After calling and texting, June is unable to get ahold of her mom when she fails to make it back from Colombia to Los Angeles. June uses resources like TaskRabbit to help her discover where her mom might be by hiring a man to track her down. This eventually leads to the discovery that June’s mom never actually made it to Colombia; the woman was a lookalike whom the boyfriend hired to cause a distraction from Grace’s kidnapping. 

The plot of “Missing” has a few twists, though I found the overall storyline to be somewhat predictable. However, this movie still had me trying to put the pieces of the mystery together, making the viewing experience more enjoyable.

“Missing” is a great movie with an exciting plot. I found myself on the edge of my seat throughout the whole movie, and the story was very intriguing and had a grasp on the audience.