Amanda Seyfried, Jennifer Carpenter, Wes Bentley, Joel Moore, Michael Pare, Sebastian Stan
As a film critic, there are times that you finish watching a film where you just want to be done with it all. You don't want to go write a review, look at your notes or even have to think back about the film again.
You just want it all to be over.
I want Gone to just be gone...not because it's such an awful film. Heck, I've seen much worse. The problem with Gone is that it's yet another waste of Amanda Seyfried's talent, not quite to the degree of Catherine Hardwicke's laughably awful Red Riding Hood but still mighty disappointing.
Seyfried is Jill, a night shift waitress who returns to her home after a shift to find that her sister Molly (Emily Wickersham) is missing. Jill was the victim of a kidnapping a year earlier, and finds herself instantly convinced that Molly has fallen victim to the same predator.
There's not much worse than a thriller that isn't thrilling, but such is true for Gone, a paint by numbers psychological thriller with so many red herrings flaunted about that you begin looking up at the big screen and expecting to see a wolf on the screen. Your typical a-hole cops (Daniel Sunjata and Katherine Moennig) assume that Jill is simply a bit bonkers since she can offer up no proof of a kidnapping and there's abundant proof that her mind isn't quite right. The film is scripted by Allison Burnett, whose latest work is the gem (sarcasm inserted) Underworld: Awakening).
Gone is destined to be gone from the box-office quite quickly, a disappointing mish-mash of pointlessly hyped up suspense sequences and doe-eyed Seyfried looking doe-eyed. For some unexplained reason, Jill only has until morning to solve the entire puzzle and, as such, Seyfried runs around like a chicken with her head cut off.
On the plus side, I've always wanted to use the whole "chicken with its head cut off" reference in a review.
Seyfried actually makes more of her character than one might expect, giving her scenes an emotional resonance that doesn't seem to be contained within Burnett's formulaic dialogue. Director Heitor Dhalia gives the film so many false hints, but what's really weird is how easily they're all caught and how much they're all expected. Dhalia gave us the film Adrift, and just as with that film he does show an understanding of the power of silence as sometimes far more frightening than the spoken word. There's also one scene, in particular, where Seyfried is driving while surrounded by darkness. It's a spine-chilling scene that gives you a glimpse of how good this film might have been.
Instead, all I'm willing to say is Gone is better than Red Riding Hood.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic