Most Anticipated Review: Gone

Gone (PG-13) - Runtime: 94 minutes
Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Jennifer Carpenter
Director: Heitor Dhalia

You might be asking yourself, "When did this come out?" Well, this movie got dumped onto the screens in late February to take advantage of that time of year when no one goes to the theater. I'm pretty sure the studio decided that they might get a chance at making back half the budget because they had a relatively big name in the lead role. I know I put this in the runner-up category for Most Anticipated and I was really, really hoping this might be one of those movies where it would surprise me at how good it was. But alas, it's a dreadful film - one that could have been released on the Lifetime Movie Network and probably would have bit the dust there as well.

The film follows Jill, a lonely waitress who lives with her sister after being found covered in mud coming out of the Northwestern wilderness claiming she was abducted by a serial killer who threw her into a hole in the middle of the forest. But somehow she managed to overpower a man twice her size and get away. The police think she's a looney because there's absolutely zero evidence to back up her claims, but when her sister goes missing, it's up to Jill to save the day and face her past. SPOILER ALERT! So I was really hoping that this would turn into a psychological thriller - and for the first half of the movie they lead you to believe she's just crazy - but then the movie takes a wrong turn into boredomville. Once you find out that the killer is real and is just trying to finish the job he couldn't do a year ago, well it's all just a really long 45 minutes to the end of the movie. It could have ended up being a really good girl-gone-crazy movie with a couple of nice twists, but you spend the second half of the much yawning. And on top of that, the serial killer is just some dude who is really, really bad at his hobby. Apparently he's been killing lots of girls but I don't believe it because he let Jill get away twice! I don't know how he set up this elaborate scheme to get her back into the wood to kill her and then basically goof it up by leaving her in the hole with a gun! The killer is not unmemorable - he's supposed to be this psycho who lives in the woods but you don't even really get to see his face all that well. What could have been something more sinister ends up being really laughable when Jill shoots the guy and leaves him to burn in the hole he created. Sheesh! It was the dumbest ending I've seen in a while! END OF SPOILERS!
I would have loved to see this be more of a psychological thriller, but it's not. The movie is dull and even the cast seems to know this - they're all just collecting a paycheck it seems. And talk about ruining a setting! The Pacific Northwest is a perfect setting for this kind of thriller (see the FX show The Killing as a great example), but they seem to have forgotten that being in the woods after dark should be scary.

The movie wants to claim that it's suspenseful and thrilling, but by the end your left questioning, "That's it?" I movie had potential - I really like Seyfried and I hope she has a long career, but this one you'll see in the dump bin at the local Big Lots next year. Stay away from this stinker.

Rating: Avoid Like the Plague!

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