Director: Andrew J.D. Robinson
Writer(s): Andrew J.D. Robinson
Cast: Maissa Houri, Mark Templin, Willow Mcgreggor
Synopsis: The scariest nightmares are the ones you can wake up to in “We Are The Missing”; a drama/horror mockumentary following The Madisons’ desperate search for their missing daughter.
This movie begins by shedding a light on how many people go missing every year. What follows is a jumbled but interesting look on a story of one young woman who goes missing. I have to give the crew here props for trying something different. The movie really tries to make you question yourself multiple times throughout the short runtime. But, the further they got into this story, the further they got away from what the real story was.
Mockumentaries have become a sort of novelty for visual media. Some of the best-known TV shows are centered around the idea of a “mock-documentary” (The Office, Parks and Rec). There have even been some really great movies to come from this mockumentary style, including Popstar: Never Stop, Never Stopping (one of my favorites). My biggest issue with this movie is the mockumentary style of filmmaking here doesn’t seem to be fully utilized.
The best documentaries and mockumentaries use the interviews to further the story playing out in front of our eyes. Another film I watched earlier this year, Never Be Done, was a documentary that I feel perfectly captured what a documentary is supposed to be, documentation of something interesting playing out. The issue here is that we go throughout this movie and we are moving from interview to interview. I understand the fact that we are trying to piece together a missing person, but the more into it, the more it begins to feel like it would be more suited for a podcast rather than a feature-length movie.
This hurts me to say because the writing and the story itself were incredibly interesting. The eerie world-building and creepy narrative both became something I latched onto. The constant twists and turns put together something that truly made me wonder and question the movie and my own reality. This film feels very rooted in reality, and even when it begins to get supernatural, it remains grounded in the world we live in.
Final: We are the Missing is well written and creepy horror story, that might have been better suited for a podcast than a feature film. The mockumentary style was not utilized fully utilized as the film managed to lean too heavily on interviews instead of documentary storytelling. Nevertheless, We are the Missing is sure to make you question the movie, as well as your own reality. It was close to being great but remains a valiant horror effort.
Jacob is a film critic and co-founder of the Music City Drive-In. He is a member of the Music City Film Critics’ Association and specializes in the awards season. You can find him on Twitter @Tberry57.