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Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Review: We Are The Missing

Director: Andrew J. D. Robinson
Screenplay: Andrew J. D. Robinson
Year: 2020

“We Are The Missing” is the full-length feature debut of director Andrew J. D. Robinson, who completed this movie with the surprising amount of 300 CAD (~225 USD). As always, I like to emphasize that these micro-budget movies, with so little money available, the weight of the movie’s success falls on the plot, the acting, and the creativity of the people involved in making it. This movie does a great job in all three aspects. 

The movie’s plot follows a series of mysterious people’s disappearances that take place in a town. In its entirety, it works as a fake documentary that follows the stories of people close to the missing closely. While their families try to understand the reason for their disappearances, more and more reports of people missing show up, along with tales of people that claim they have seen figures and ghosts.

The plot of "We Are The Missing" falls to the drama side, although it always keeps an unsettling tone, which it gets through the tales in the interviews. This style puts plenty of weight in the actors, which most of them do a great job and manage to blur the viewer's perception and lead it to think that this is a real documentary. The horror side is much more limited and presented suggestively, always in a second plane behind the emotional side of how the affected react to the disappearances or supernatural experiences.

Where creativity is best seen is in how it was edited. A great job of presenting the interviews from different angles is done, as with the traditional documentary shots or Youtube videos, and in many, they are intertwined with images and sounds that give them dynamism and break the monotony that this style creates. Through these images and sounds, the unsettling atmosphere is supported for its 83 minutes of runtime. 

Among the movie’s negative aspects, there are scenes, especially in the first act, that feel longer than they need to be and can even be redundant to the plot. Also, plenty of time is devoted to establishing the plot’s core, when it is evident, and the most interesting aspects can be reached quicker. Some parts can also become confusing as to where the story is moving, but this is satisfactorily resolved.

“We Are The Missing” used the mockumentary style to present the stories of families that have suffered from their loved ones’ sudden and mysterious disappearances. The director Andrew J. D. Robinson achieved the feat of creating a good movie with almost no budget. The limitations that arise from the lack of funding are overcome with creativity from everyone involved in its making.


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