I recently caught the movie Searching OnDemand and was pleasantly surprised. This movie sort of falls into the “found footage” genre, but with a bit of a twist. All of the footage is derived from computer or phone sources. The story is about a high school student that goes missing and her fathers quest to find her or the answers to what may have happened to her.
The following review will be mostly spoiler free as there are some decent twists and turns I do not wish to ruin for anyone. Long story short, this movie is worth the time spent watching it if you are up for a modern take on a murder mystery.
John Cho (Harold and Kim go to White Castle, Star Trek) and Debra Messing (Prey, Will & Grace) star. The cast is fairly compact given the nature of the film, but the supporting actors gave convincing enough performances as the plethora of friends, neighbors, and family that all surround any missing persons investigation. Aneesh Chaganty cuts his teeth on his first full length feature. One problem this movie did a pretty good job dodging is the fakey computer screens or online destinations you see in most entertainment. While taking a more simplistic approach, everything shown on the net was portrayed in a very accurate way. Watching John Kim’s character run his investigation from the PC was interesting and very believable. While I have no doubt that this film will seem dated within just a few short years, it was satisfyingly realistic enough now.
The film did a good job of keeping me involved with the plot, but I will say there wasn’t much in the way of interesting set decoration or cinematography. Good concept, script, and direction…but that is pretty much it.
I would recommend this to anyone who likes mysteries and can tolerate found footage films (it is sans the shaky camera work so you are safe) . The internet life is done well enough that it isn’t distracting or giggle inducing. Worth a watch 🙂