Director: Peter Facinelli
Cast: Thomas Jane, Anne Heche, Jason Patric, Gregory Harrison, Aleksei Archer, Kristopher Wente, John Hickman, Alex Haydon, Peter Facinelli
Runtime: 1 hr 55 mins
Rating: NC16 (Sexual Scene and Drug Use)
Released By: Shaw Organisation
Opening Day: 16 September 2021
Synopsis: The story charts the fallout after a ten-year-old girl goes missing from an RV park. The girl’s father (Thomas Jane) and mother (Anne Heche) take justice into their own hands, stopping at nothing to track their daughter down. As they fall deeper into the search, a tragic revelation is uncovered, deepening the mystery of the girl’s disappearance.
The only noteworthy thing to come out of a movie liked The Vanished is seeing how far the main actors have age over the years. People whom we have known from their screen appearances from way back. Some gracefully, some remains dapper while some totally unrecognizable.
We are going to leave it to you to classify which actors belong to which category because this is the only entertaining aspect of this preposterous, dead-on-arrival psychological thriller.
Directed and written by actor Peter Facinelli (Dr Cullen from the Twilight series), The Vanished is about a family of three who decides to spend their vacation in their RV at a remote camp site only for the couple’s daughter, Taylor to be ended up missing shortly after arrival. Of course, the police are called and the Sheriff (Jason Patric from Speed 2: Cruise Control) in charge speculates it could be the work of an escaped convict though unlikely. Paul (Thomas Jane the original Punisher) and Wendy Michaelson (Anne Heche from Six Days, Seven Nights) however decides to take things into their own hands and begin to embark on their own investigations.
At first, they suspect it could be their neighbouring loving childless couple, Eric and Miranda who kidnapped their daughter. Or perhaps the creepy campsite groundkeeper, Justin. Even the campsite manager looks suspicious. Hell, it could be anyone even perhaps Sheriff Baker who lost his son. As the days go on without news of Taylor, Paul and Wendy frequently gets into quarrels, fights and wait for it…cold-blooded murders!
Is there a hidden conspiracy involving aliens and monsters? Or is there something sinisterly wrong with Paul and Wendy? You know what? We rather take theory number one anytime. Facinelli is very much out of his depth with The Vanished. For one, he thinks peppering the movie with lots of loud pounding sound effects and cheap jump scares actually make the movie better. You know it isn’t.
Despite the kidnapping premise, the movie labours on without much tension or a twist except Heche’s character going berserk every now and then. By the way, she is not going to win any prize for all that screaming. Thomas Jane seems totally helpless opposite his co-star and he looks more lost than grieving. Jason Patric on the other hand just seems bored, probably as bored as the audiences. His role is on par with any current Bruce Willis’ direct-to-video characters and that’s not a compliment.
We are never kept on the edge of the seats throughout. The numerous red herrings are laughable. The pacing is so sloppy that you can squeeze in a comedy inbetween and no one notices. It’s kind of bizarre that for a movie filled with gaping logics and ludicrous twists gets the green light for production. The final revelation in the third act is another nail in the coffin. Hollywood needs to do better so does Peter Facinelli.
(Like a bad magic trick revealed, you wish this should vanish in the first place)
Review by Linus Tee