film reel image

film reel image

Sunday, November 15, 2020

The Vanished 2020 * * * Stars


"We should be out there searching". I was. I hit the local Redbox because I had a need to write and wanted to check out a wilderness thriller. 

Anyway, 2020's The Vanished is my latest write-up. Don't try to confuse it with that movie from the nineties starring Jeff Bridges and Kiefer Sutherland. "Vanished" rather features Anne Heche and journeyman actor Thomas Jane. As a flustered married couple who appear to be on the outs, these kooky spouses do strong work here.  

Released on DVD in October, reigning in some Kubrickian overhead shots, and filmed mostly on a camping site (Alabama perhaps?), The Vanished is deftly directed by Peter Facinelli. Weaving many characters, a few plot lines, and a few whodunits, Facinelli fashions what looks like a modern day version of 1998's A Simple Plan. Sam Raimi well, he would be mildly dazzled.

Along with Heche and Jane, "Vanished" also stars a subdued Jason Patric and Facinelli himself. They appear in a film that keeps you guessing until the very end (even though it's not too hard to follow). The Vanished while all too high-flown for its own good, contains a doozy of a conclusion and enough twists and turns to occupy Lombard Street. The movie as a near two-hour mark, registers as its own, reared red herring. 

With an original title of Hour of Lead and distributed by Saban Films, "Vanished" is just what it aspires to be. It's a flick about a husband and wife who try to find their daughter who was abducted on an RV family vacay. People get murdered in the process, everyone's a person of interest, and it all takes place during the Thanksgiving holiday (which is readily approaching). I'm gonna recommend The Vanished despite its yearn to project broad, "look at me" film-making. It's a decent rental and an up to snuff "vanishing" act.   

Written by Jesse Burleson

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