Title defines the originality BUT…
It may be as conventional a thriller you will see this year, but “Gone” isn’t without some atmospheric creepiness and uses star Amanda Seyfried’s versatility in all the right ways. While it gets zero points for originality “Gone” underscores the point that not every suspense film needs to shock or break new ground in order to be engaging. That being said, “Gone” feels much more suited to the rental crowd, than a big-night-out-at-the-movies affair.
Seyfried (“Mamma Mia,” “Letters to Juliet” ) is Jill, who is still recovering a year later from the torment of being kidnapped and thrown into a deep hole in an Oregonian forest. Now, her sister (Emily Wickersham) is missing and Jill is sure it is the same kidnapper and she’s convinced he’s a serial killer who will murder her sister in a matter of hours. The local cops think Jill’s story is all in her still traumatized head and barely lift a finger to help. That’s when Jill decides to take matters into her own hands and hunt down the killer.
All kinds of odd potential suspects surface, from a locksmith’s warped son, a big tipper at the diner where she works, a creepy reclusive neighbor, and of course nearly every cop involved. Perhaps these are just an abundance of red herrings, but who cares?
The heart of the matter is whether we care about Jill and whether the film successfully walks the line between the manufactured twists in the storyline and Jill’s nightmare of imagined horror. And Seyfried does yeoman’s work here, taking the simple structure and doing more with less— Jill is in constant panic mode but maintains her street smarts making for an engaging if nonetheless borderline protagonist.
Seyfried has been in her share of clunkers and deserves better material. Her upcoming role as Cosette in the musical film adaptation of Les Miserables (set to be released in December of this year) could provide some well deserved credibility.
Rated “PG-13” for violence and terror, some sexual material, brief language and drug references.