Gone directed by Heitor Dhalia and starring the very lovely Amanda Seyfried is a serial killer thriller in the vein of such films as Kiss the Girls (Gary Fleder, 1997) and Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1991). The basic plot is that Jill (Seyfried) was previously kidnapped by a man and thrown down a hole, her attacker would have killed her that night but she escaped by stabbing him with a sharp bone belonging to a previous victim. However the Psychopath left no evidence and Jill did not get a good look at him so the local police department do not believe her and instead have her temporarily committed. At the start of the film Jill is living in her parents old house (both her parents are dead) and trying to rebuild her life by going out and working nights at as a waitress. Jill’s sister stays the night at Jill’s house to get some piece and quiet before an important college exam and a series of coincidences lead the killer to think that JIll is home alone, causing him to capture her sister instead. Jill realises her sister Molly has been kidnapped the second she arrives home but again the police do not believe her. Realising that Molly may well be killed by the end of the night if she is not found Jill must take action by her self in order to track down her sister.
Gone mainly consists of Jill following a number of leads, in order to find her sister. In this sense the nearest thing I can compare it to, and what I was reminded of most of the way through the film was L.A. Noire (Rockstar games, 2011). For those of you who have been hiding under a rock L.A. Noire is an interactive detective video game where we the player control the actions and decisions of Detective Cole Phelps as he tracks down various crooks and killers. The game consists of travelling to various locations, collecting evidence, and then interviewing possible witnesses. When the witness responds to your questions you must guess if the are telling the truth or lying. Gone is very similar in this respect. Although we are not able to choose where Jill goes or who she talks to we are invited to asses whether each person is telling the truth, and as almost all of the people she speaks with are male, and appear suspicious, we must decide if they are a possible candidate to be the murderer. This aspect was rather interesting and the film certainly cranked up the tension, and expectation at each turn.
I enjoyed the film but found it forgettable, mainly because the ending was a huge damp squib. We are lead to believe that there will be a big twist at the end (predictable or not) when the villain is revealed, but the ending fails to live up to expectations. I will not tell you who the killer is but I will tell you who he is not (for reasons of catharsis) In Aprils edition of Trailer Trash where I reviewed the trailer for Gone I suggested that Wes Bentley’s Detective Peter Hood might turn out to be the killer, this is indeed suggested all the way through, he even disappears at a vital moment to ‘take soup to his sick mother,’ it turns out not to be him. However as anyone who has seen P2 (Franck Khalfoun, 2007) will probably agree, despite the cliché, if Wes Bentley had been the killer it would have been preferable to the actual ending of this film. Wes Bentley was certainly under used here.
Amanda Seyfried is an engaging actress and therefore is just about able to carry the movie over any cracks it has, but at the end of the day the aforementioned Kiss The Girls and Silence of the Lambs are certainly superior films. So lets cheer ourselves up by watching that classic Wes Bentley American Beauty (Sam Mendes, 1999) plastic bag scene one more time!