I’m a movie junkie. I see at least one a month but most often, I see a whole lot more. Last weekend had me checking out Amanda Seyfried’s new movie Gone. Amanda plays Jill Parrish, a young woman living out a uniquely female nightmare. A year ago she was abducted from her bed and thrown into a hole in the woods. She escaped, went to the police but due to lack of evidence, her story is not believed. She now works the night shift at a rundown little diner and survives day to day by using various coping methods, including medication. She is not a happy go lucky girl, doesn’t date but she does have her sister Molly to lean on. Until the morning she comes home and finds Molly has been abducted. Once more, the police point out that there is no evidence and turn a deaf ear to Jill’s pleas for help. Knowing that the killer only gives his victim twenty-four hours to escape, Jill begins a desperate race against time to track him down and ensure he has taken his last girl.

This movie suffered from an abundance of predictability and a near complete lack of tension. There is a scene where a store clerk provides so much of the information Jill needs to solve her case I couldn’t help but shake my head in bemusement. I’ve worked as a store clerk before and unless you are incredibly rude or weird the odds that I would remember you are almost nil. My co-workers had even worse memories. Even when people would come back the same night, we would stare at them blankly. Unless you are a regular, you are anonymous.

Another huge problem with the film is the anti-climactic ending. The ease with which a conclusion is reached took all the bite out of our villain. Between the lack of suspense, the overwhelming predictability and this, the movie managed to hit plenty of “don’ts” on a list of how to make a thriller. On the bright side, the actors did their very best with what little they were given. Joel David Moore was an especially brilliant casting choice. He can deliver that fine line of creepy with a trace of innocence like no one else I have ever seen.

Despite the problems with the film, though, I thought it brought up an important point: How helpless women often feel when going to the police for help. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met some terrific police officers over the years. But I’ve had some instances where the boys in blue were less than helpful as well. Watching Jill struggle to prove the near un-provable reminded me how many women struggle silently with crimes like rape and abuse for fear they won’t be believed. I think it is a reminder those of us fortunate enough to have avoided such problems need every once in a while.

So what about you, have your experiences with the police always been positive? Have you ever had an experience with an authority figure where you just couldn’t get them to believe you? Or on a totally different note, what is your favorite suspense film?

– Maggie AAR

4 thoughts on “Gone

  1. AARPat

    Being in a 7-11 holdup was the scariest moment of my life. I was 25 and living in Houston when two male friends (neither a boyfriend or lover) and I went to a 7-11 for beer. I was back by the cooler trying to decide if I wanted to get something non-alcoholic instead when the robber entered the store. He had all the shoppers come to the front and lie down on the floor except me. He said, “I’m taking the girl with me.” Until then I never realized when I was the only woman in a room. The store clerk was new and had trouble getting the money out of the till. While the gunman was distracted, I backed up to the far corner of the cooler and crouched down, the shelves blocking my view of him. Instead I could see the front door where a VW Bug had pulled up and a huge guy with an even larger Afro was getting out and I had this sinking feeling that when he opened the door, the gunman was going to start shooting. Fortunately, the guy took one glance inside and turned around and got back in his car.

    The police angle on all this? Well, the guy got away with a sack of what I thought was cash, but turned out to be a sandwich, before the cops arrived. The police almost arrested me because I told them I was 20 (pure fear will make you unreliable I found out) and my ID said I was 25, and I looked like I was in my teens at the time. One of my friends had been hit on the head by the gunman, but while he was bleeding all over the place, the cops wouldn’t let us leave until we’d given our statements over and over. My friend had five stitches in the cut.

    There’s lots more, of course, but suffice it to say that the cops became almost as terrifying as the robber. Forty years later I can still see and feel that night.

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  2. maggie b.


    That sounds truly terrible. I am so grateful I’ve never had an experience that bad.

    My son is a huge Christopher Nolan fan and he loved Memento. I think mine is The Usual Suspects because the ending was just so awesome, though Memento has that too.

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