Synopsis- Two teenage girls encounter an Internet child predator – Megan is Missing
Director- Michael Goi
Starring- Amber Perkins, Rachel Quinn, Dean Waite
If you liked: Amber Alert, The Last Broadcast, Death of a Vlogger
Let me just start by saying this film contains one of the most disturbing hard-to-watch scenes I have ever seen, something more discussing than any torture porn Saw knock-off, what makes it worse is that I didn’t expect it either.
Megan is missing is the story of two missing girls, Megan (Quinn) and Amy (Perkins), told via webcam, phone, camera and television reports, showing the dangers of online predators, this film isn’t for the faint-hearted as it contains some pretty graphic scenes of rape and torture, gore and will leave you feeling a little sick.
This review took a few days for me to write because I wasn’t sure how I felt about the movie when I first started watching it, the film seemed quite familiar, two girls talking about boys and going to parties, Megan is more popular and even though she’s only 14, is no stranger to sex, drugs and alcohol, which you come to understand after a particularly harrowing monologue, in which she explains that she has lived a less than perfect childhood.
Amy, on the other hand, is a model student, who leads a happy home life, but doesn’t fit in, both actresses play their parts well, especially Amber, who you’ll see go from a girl trying hard to fit in but still refraining from growing up too much, to someone coping with the disappearance of her best friend, the first half of this film belongs to Rachel’s portrayal of Megan and her escaping her home life, through a succession of parties, sex and drugs.
The second half, however, is all about Amy and her dealing with some same issues that befell her friend, this makes the film feel as though it is two separate stories that start off by taking you in one direction, making you think it is just a straightforward tale of the last few days before the girls go missing, before pulling you another way, becoming a more graphic film that depicts the girls struggles against a truly evil sexual predator, especially Amy as she becomes the focal point of the film after Megan’s disappearance and as the most likeable character, you really hope she makes it back home okay.
Recently there have been a few found footage/doc-horror hybrids being made, such as Lake Mungo or Searching, both of which I rather enjoy, so this filmmaking style is known to me and it didn’t let me down when it came to quality and it has made me think about it for a few days now, for this I give the film credit, but unlike Lake Mungo or even 2020’s Zoom based viral hit Host, it’s not a film I wish to watch again in any hurry, not down to its quality or acting, it’s more down to me not being a fan of torture porn horror, which in this film, I really wasn’t expecting it if you are a fan of that type of horror, then this is for you, also if you should watch it for the amazing acting of the two young actresses, who keep you watching, even when all you really want to do it turn away.
The film will stay with you for a long time, for both good and bad reasons, but I would suggest watching it at least once, as it is possibly one of the strongest films that deal with the subject of internet predators and abduction, without going over the top or becoming unbelievable, whilst not flinching when it comes to some harder to watch parts.
It’s strange how old music, art or movies can be rediscovered through the strangest of situations, Kate Bush became popular again due to her song Running Up That Hill featuring in season 4 of Stranger Things is one such case. another is the viral popularity Megan is Missing received when clips surfaced on the social media site TikTok last year, leading millions of people who had previously never heard of this small-budget doc-horror to question if this is a real and a girl called Megan was really missing?.
The answer to this question is, no, Megan is Missing is a work of fiction, however, it did prove two things, firstly, just because a piece of entertainment is old, it doesn’t mean it won’t resonate with audiences years later, and secondly, Michael Goi and his team made a film that was authentic/well produced enough that even today when viewers are a lot more used to found footage movies and deep fake videos, thousands, maybe even millions of people believed that this was a real case of two missing girls. This site alone saw a huge spike in people clicking on this review to see if it was real or not, and even if they left disappointed that the movie was fiction, at least they and anyone who came across the clips now has a greater sense of the dangers children face online, which can never be a bad thing.