Horror review: Gone

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ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, FEB. 27, 2012

You’d think that after starring roles in such failed scary movies as Red Riding Hood and Jennifer’s Body—not to mention Mamma Mia!—that Amanda Seyfried’s handlers would steer her away from genre fare. But no, here she is again, freaking viewers out with her oversized eyeballs in the psychological serial-killer flick Gone.

Seyfried stars as Jill, a jittery Portland waitress and former mental patient who claims she was once abducted and held captive in a hole in the ground in Oregon’s Forest Park. When her recovering-alcoholic sister and housemate, Molly (Emily Wickersham), vanishes one night, Jill is certain that her previous attacker is the culprit and that if she doesn’t find her sis in 24 hours, she’ll be dead.

“He’s back!” the feisty babe declares to a gaggle of Portland police officers, but none of them—including a woman with an inexplicably awful haircut—believe her. They still think Jill is a crackpot who staged her own abduction and is only crying out for more attention. A creepy junior detective (P2’s Wes Bentley) secretly offers to help her, explaining to a colleague that he likes women who are “a little crazy”.

The odour of that red herring is typical of Untraceable cowriter Allison Burnett’s hokey script.

The rest of the film has Jill desperately borrowing cars as she tries to locate the baddie and stay one step ahead of the clueless cops, who want her for pulling a gun on a weaselly-looking locksmith (Joel David Moore). A few cheap thrills are generated along the way—involving either car chases or the old cat-in-a-closet trick—but by the end of Gone, you’ll be convinced that it’s just a low-rent reworking of The Silence of the Lambs, with Seyfried’s humongous peepers a sad substitute for Jodie Foster’s acting chops.

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