There were about 10 different ways I could have started this article, but the most relevant way would be to say that this movie is on Hulu and YouTube for free as I am typing away. It is not on Netflix Instant or Amazon Prime. I watched the YouTube version with Portuguese subtitles because it was the only one that worked on my iPad and I love multiculturalism SO MUCH. Regardless, this movie is easily accessible.
With that being said, I never watched this movie because the poorly delivered title struck me as a Lifetime Original Movie, and not a grown-up, adult oriented horror film. In fact, the idea this movie was even a horror film was brought to my attention when I was visiting the subreddit /r/scaredshitless one late night, trying to find, well, scary things. When I saw people reacting to this film, it suddenly became interesting to me.
I will probably be reviewing other films from this subreddit, but Megan is Missing is the first film. I am letting you know right now, I do not care about spoilers and if adult content and adult language bothers you, you may want to exit stage right.
So, Megan is Missing, is idealistically a Lifetime like movie, but you won’t ever see it on the network (Hell, maybe they have shown it there), because 14 year old coke whores blowing guys to get their best friends into parties doesn’t seem like their demographic. This movie thrusts the viewer quickly into the decadent world of Megan and Amy, two best friends that are polar opposites. Megan is a hooch only worried about partying and getting laid and Amy is essentially a nun, who looks up to Megan. Both girls suffer from esteem issues, which is expected, I suppose, because teen girls always seem to have coping issues.
It doesn’t take long to learn that Megan really is a what society would label as a whore, as she finds herself doing sexual favors to get ahead in her social circle. The movie glorifies that behavior through the eyes of Amy, a shy, goody two shoes teen, who wants to be just like her best friend.
The film focuses on the girls’ lifestyles, familial issues, social issues and all around good times. It uses the Internet as a social tool via webcam chatting with each other. All of this leads to the girls making contact with the film’s villain, who is faceless throughout the entirety of the film.
Some ads for the movie hark strongly to the Internet as a tool of evil. In the film, there is a line or two devoted to “being safe online,” but the movie does not beat you over the head about the Internet being unsafe. In fact, there are LMN movies about this very thing, and they beat you to death with the idea that the Internet is EVIL! No, this movie simply puts reality into the frame: If you act like a hooch and willingly pursue the “D” in order to look cool, regardless of who it is, and how you do it, you may find yourself in quite the predicament. Predicament is quite the understatement:
The film exhibits little in the terror department, until you see this image that is shown on the news. Then it suddenly gets real. Megan wasn’t just abducted. Megan is being tortured by someone with sadistic interests. It really didn’t have much of an affect on me, because you see this stuff in a Marilyn Manson video. I can totally understand if this bothers you though, because Marilyn Manson is not normal.
This is merely only a snapshot of what happens to Megan. The terror starts with the last 20 minutes of the film, after Amy is abducted. I won’t spoil what happens completely, but what happens is as scary as it can get, because the situation becomes very uncomfortable and very…ahem…claustrophobic.
The terror with films like Megan is Missing, and why they frighten so many people, is because of the reality. This could really happen, and if you ever pay attention to the world around you, you know this shit really happens. When you put it into the frame of a film, you get sense of how fucked up people can be. Then you realize, this film is probably tame compared to what kidnapped girls really go through. The terror is not from monsters and demons, but of human intent. These movies do not scare me, they just make me depressed. Sadly, I know the deprivation that humanity can sink to, and therefore, depression is all I felt during that last scene. I knew, as soon as the scene started “Oh, this is one of those realistic films where nothing good is going to happen.” Nothing good happened.
I give Megan is missing a 2 out of 5 stars. I personally dislike movies like this because they are generally over-hyped. I think the film does well on delivering a compelling message, and that’s it. The acting really doesn’t help much, until the end, Amy (Amber Perkins) really sold being a torture victim. She acted out the hopelessness, but in a film that approaches an hour and a half of pieced together camera footage, 20 minutes of good acting is nothing to brag about.
The actual ending, during the credits, actually seals the deal in the depression department. If you want to know why, just watch the film. I would also suggest a sit down with your teenage daughters. Lifetime is not going to teach your daughters anything, but this film might, because even though it acts as a caricature of teenage misbehavior throughout the film (See bad acting mentioned previously), it is definitely closer to reality than the cookie cutter bullshit clean films will offer up.
Or, don’t let your kids watch this, because the last thing you need to do is make your child so terrified of the world, that she won’t even go live a little.