The Megan Is Missing movie almost takes hardcore, shock-torture gore, too far. And you can delete the almost. This is one sick, but effective, movie.
This 2011 movie features campy, fake newscasts. Headlines are punctuated repeatedly with exclamation marks. Perhaps this is an effort to make the production appear not too real, especially in light, or dark, of what comes at the end of the movie!
Every once in a while I go for some hard or soft core horror just to see what is going on. I was lured in to this diabolical film via the comments of previous viewers. There was a massive hue and cry against the Megan Is Missing movie in these comments. About the only thing these outraged and disgusted comments could justify about the movie was that it could maybe serve as a warning to clueless teens, and their equally clueless parents, about the dangers of taking interaction on the internet live into the real world. Again, most of these comments warned against showing this film to teens. I took all of this as a challenge. How could I resist? How could it be that bad? I bit on the whole enchilada. Oh, my.
Curiously, there were a few outlier opinions from jaded and nonplussed hardcore gore fans who not only defended the movie, but had seen much worse. Furthermore, these seemed to be young women. These tattooed and pierced, leather goth women are the apparent righteous heirs to the most vile nightmares of Dracula’s bride. Or at least The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. These are seen- it-all tough girls for whom merely murderous mayhem is not enough. Yes, Virginia, there is a demographic for hardcore, shock-torture gore flicks (hereinafter, HSTGF), I am slightly sad to report. Incidentally, if HSTGF is not a thing, then it should be, if only as a warning. And I am not conveying the gravity of the situation by calling this thing a flick, either, but you know what I mean.
I had run across this kind of thing before in a Japanese film, Cold Fish, that was supposed to be great, according to some. I forced myself through it only to realize, at the end, that the payoff, I guess, was a brutally butchered body scene. Well, the scene wasn’t butchered, but the body was. Or was it the other way around? There was an element of extremely dark comedy to it, I suppose. To be fair, I couldn’t get the subtitles going very well so I mostly listened to it in Japanese. I do believe it mattered not. And to think I grew up on Walt Disney. Silly me.
A few other films have also tread the slippery slope between theatrical film and an out-and-out snuff film. Notably, a couple I remember are 52 Pick-Up and 8MM. But the camera stays well on the theatrical side of things in these films.
In the Megan Is Missing movie the camera is more observational. The documentary-like feel of the found footage drifts uncomfortably close to the edge of reality, and, therefore, the edge of law, both codified and moral. Therein lies the effectiveness of this film. The found footage end of the film is a horrific and stark counterpoint to the cheesy fake newscasts that preceded it. That contrast also serves to drive the film from the dubious safety of daylight to the despicable darkness of human depravity, both literally and figuratively. Watch it at your peril. I got a little more than I bargained for.
This movie is supposedly based, more or less, on a true crime story, a real American tragedy. It is really hard to believe the number of missing people there are in the United States and the number of unsolved murders. Botched robberies, crimes of passion, drug deals gone bad, and home invasions are one thing, but serial killers and serial murder are quite another. It is the random unpredictability that sends shivers down the strongest of spines.
I was never too worried about serial killers until I saw Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. He and Otis offed someone in the movie right where I had been walking in real life in Chicago. Perhaps one should factor serial killers slightly into the equation of daily life and just be a little more wary at the least. It is an area that the United States needs to improve upon, for sure. Although there are other countries with this severe problem, America seems to lead the way. USA!
Anyway, back to our feature film and popcorn! Such was the constant horrible screaming at the end, that it had me constantly turning down the volume in fear of the police showing up at my door. I’m serious, it was that gruesome and that loud. The copious amount of realistic and desperate pleading and screaming made the movie very difficult to watch and had me shifting uncomfortably on my couch.
I am not going to challenge you to watch the Megan Is Missing movie. You may or may not take up the challenge, as you like. Have it your way. This movie is not without merit. Writer and director Michael Goi was nominated by Camerimage in 2010 for Best Directorial Debut for this film. But be forewarned. It is a challenge, for sure. So, I guess, the only question is, are you in the HSTGF demographic, and, if not, then why not? Inquiring leather goth girls in world-weary midnight black desperately want you to know that they do not care. I guess.