The Vanished Movie Review


The Vanished is a thriller released on Netflix in August of 2020.  It was directed by Peter Facinelli, who also contributed to other notable titles such as American Dad! and the Twilight movie saga. The main premise of The Vanished is that Taylor, a ten-year-old girl, has gone missing during her family’s lake vacation. As her parents searched for her, they became increasingly desperate and went to extreme lengths to find their missing daughter. Throughout the movie, many subplots arose, including an escaped inmate, that contributed to the urgency of the search. Facinelli also included many sketchy characters to draw in his audience and make them ask questions. While The Vanished included many dramatic elements and a multifaceted plot to help captivate its viewers, it ultimately fails to live up to its expectations. 

From the very beginning, The Vanished did an excellent job at making its viewers experience a range of emotions. In its opening scene, a man wielding a handgun can be seen fleeing through the cover of darkness, closely pursued by police officers and canines. It suddenly cut to a tranquil scene of a family singing happily as they traveled a lonely road in an RV. Viewers were again met with an uneasy feeling when the family reached Happy Campin’ RV park but received a very cold welcome from its owner. This cycle continued throughout the entire movie as viewers experienced alternating moments of peace and excitement, with some particularly exciting scenes, including a struggle for survival. Contributing greatly to the emotions experienced by viewers were the dramatic effects included in The Vanished. The background music did a great job of setting and enhancing the mood of a scene, and there were also a few well-timed jump scares that startled viewers when they were the most focused. While the above components worked to the advantage of The Vanished, some also worked to take away from the story. 

The first element that did not entirely work for this movie was the ratio of peaceful and dramatic scenes. While it is important to include peaceful scenes to allow viewers to calm down after intense situations, the peaceful scenes in The Vanished were too drawn out and often left its viewers bored. Another element that underwhelmed me was the acting. The acting in The Vanished was convincing enough, but did not stand out in any way, and was definitely not at an award-winning level. Also, it seems that Facinelli was not able to deliver with any of the intertwined subplots. They did a great job of drawing viewers in, but as the movie progressed, it seemed that they were forgotten about altogether. The last, and perhaps the most disappointing, element was the conclusion. The ending of The Vanished seemed to be completely rushed as if it had not been given much thought. This is partly due to the extended period of falling action, which left little time for a well-rounded conclusion. As a result, nearly all of the subplots were left unfinished, and many of the questions that viewers had were left unanswered. 

There were areas where The Vanished performed very well, but others where it performed poorly. In the beginning, especially, I enjoyed the main plot, and I appreciated the quick manner in which the drama began to unfold. I also enjoyed all of the dramatic effects and felt that they were a perfect addition to the storyline. However, as the movie progressed, I increasingly lost interest as a result of extended periods in which there was no action. I also felt as though too many subplots were introduced, which played a major role in the disappointing conclusion. Due to its very promising beginning, yet conclusion that left much to be desired, I believe a fair rating for The Vanished would be 2.5 out of 5 stars.

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