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Title: Gone
Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Jennifer Carpenter, Daniel Sunjata
Directed by: Heiter Dahlia
Written by: Allison Burnett
Studio: Lionsgate
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 94 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: May 29th, 2012

Movie: :2stars:
Video: :4stars:
Audio: :4stars:
Extras: :1star:
HTS Overall Score:66


As a person who grew up with a detective for an older brother and a 30-year veteran police officer for a father-in-law, I can tell you with all certainty that it's very common for police officers to investigate a kidnapping for only one week exclusively within a 5,000 square acre plot, only to give up and commit the victim to a mental institution. Wait a second, I'm sorry, I got mixed up. That's the plotline of Lionsgate's latest foray into the PG-13 Thriller/Horror genre. Jill (Seyfried) plays a young woman supposedly kidnapped and left in a dark hole in the middle of one Forest Park, amidst the corpses of other dead girls, only to escape and come stumbling out of the park weeks later to tell her story. Only problem is that the cops searched the 5,000 acre state park for an entire week, and then decided that Jill made it all up. As a result, Jill was pushed over the edge and committed to a psychiatric facility for most of a year. Jill's sister, Molly, even moves in with her to act as a pillar of emotional support for the fragile girl. Not willing to lie down and give up, Jill pours over maps and books, trying and trying to find out where she was held. To add insult to injury, she tends to digress into paranoia episodes during which she believes she's found the killer, but only receives an eye roll from the police, who then promptly ignore whatever evidence she presents. Then, a year after her kidnapping, Molly mysteriously vanishes, and our heroine is certain that the killer is back. Of course, by this time, the police have had enough of "the girl who cried wolf" and write off her sister's disappearance as another crazy attempt to find a killer they believe moved on already.

Jill takes it upon herself to do what the police won't do: find her sister. Arming herself with a gun and every clue at her disposal, she goes out on a search for her sister. While it's obvious that Jill has quite a few bats in her belfry, some of the techniques she uses to track down the killer are quite inventive. She takes the logical step of switching cars several time so as to evade police capture, and she does some good sleuthing while investigating clues that her neighbors provided her on the night of the abduction. While that's all well and good, nothing can overcome the film's obvious lack of heart, not to mention an incredibly lackluster ending. We have a young cop who believes Jill, even when know one else will, who just stops being a part of the plot line until the end of the film where he only stares dumbly when she's proven right. When we even find the villain, it's through a piece of purely circumstantial paranoia on Jill's part that doesn't make any sense. The character isn't intimidating at all. Jill is so wildly cray and paranoid that her triumphant act of retribution just makes you feel sorry for him and disgusted with her. If that doesn't take the cake, Jill sends back photographic evidence, leading the detective to the bodies of the other dead females, and, of course, the scene of a crime SHE committed. Yes, logic was definitely the strong part of the writing cadre.

I honestly wish "Gone" was worse than it actually is, because then we could sit around with a couple of beers and MST3K the movie to death. Unfortunately, it is just so mediocre that it ends up being a complete waste of time. Amanda Seyfried plays Jill with her normal "deer in the headlights look," and coasts through the movie sporting the same cliched expression shown in every horror/thriller known to man. I literally started pounding my head against my notebook when the villain, with a stereotypically creepy voice, calls Jill and asks her to meet him out in the park, late at night, so he can show her what a "nice guy" he is. While the film could definitely have been worse, I think it exemplifies the reason why it's better to hot or cold rather than lukewarm.


Rated PG-13 for violence and terror, some sexual material, brief language and drug references

Video :4stars:

At the very least, it gives us something pretty to look at, and I don't just mean Amanda Seyfried. Lionsgate did a fine job with the transfer here: blacks are great with exceptional shadow detail. Every once in a while I noticed some black crush, but only occasionally, and just for a few seconds. The imagery of Portland was captured very well - once a native resident of Portland, I appreciate the grey and misty atmosphere that helped the viewer relate to the shrouded and murky memories with which Jill was forced to live. Outdoor shots were absolutely breathtaking - perfect resolution with barely any artifacts of any kind present. There WAS a blue/green tint given to the movie, but it was very obviously a stylistic choice rather than any fault with Lionsgate's transfer process. Overall, I'd say that most videophiles will be pleasantly satisfied by the video quality.

Audio :3.5stars:

For a newer movie, I honestly expected more than for it to rely on thrills and creepy music to keep the viewer's eyes on the screen. Instead of greatness, we are stuck with a rather boring 5.1 DTS-HD MA track. Most of the film was centered in the front 3 channels with the occasional surround affect bleeding through to the rears. Even music felt rather dull and lifeless compared to the vocals. Vocals were, of course, centered very nicely and crisp without any negative sound affects drowning them out. Gone is a genre film that thrives off of immersive affects and background music, but rather, is held back by a second rate, almost stereo audio track on which even a first year sound student would have done a better job.

Extras: :1star:

• Zip, Nada, Nothing, (unless you count the trailer for "Man on a Ledge" before the movie started).

Overall: :3.5stars:

"Gone" is a film that I wish was gone from my head. It is a truly mediocre filming at it's "finest". Nothing stood out besides Amanda Seyfried's portrayal of the truly looney. The picture and audio were decent to good, but this is a film that exemplifies the stigma that Hollywood has stopped trying. If I didn't know any better, I would have assumed this was a straight to video release. Unfortunately for the poor theaters, they were forced to show this to the general populace and actually charge admission. While this wasn't something that would offend the casual viewer or shock them with SyFy channel acting, it WILL turn a seasoned film watcher's stomach with the obvious lack effort. My recommendation is don't even bother renting this one unless there's nothing left in the Netflix queue, or else you harbor a secret gluttony for punishment.

Recommendation: Skip It

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