A Thomas Jane Mystery Thriller Is Blowing Up On Netflix

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The pandemic heavily affected last year’s cinema releases, with new movies that went unnoticed upon entering what few theaters remained open now finding an audience on streaming services. Mystery thriller The Vanished is one such offering and is quickly gaining popularity on Netflix, rocketing up the Top 10 list.

It stars Thomas Jane and Anne Heche as a married couple who take their young daughter to an RV campsite for Thanksgiving weekend, only for the girl to disappear soon after they arrive. When the police search turns up no clues, they begin looking for her themselves, with their actions often hindering any answers that might have been discovered.

The pic wastes no time in getting its plot underway, with barely ten minutes having gone by before the cute little blonde is nowhere to be found. The suspect pool is cast wide by an assortment of supporting characters that the spouses encounter, none of whom help their case by all acting as suspiciously as humanly possible without screaming their guilt out loud. As the days pass with no trace of what might have happened being unearthed, things begin looking ever bleaker and increasingly desperate choices are made.

When the story finally begins to wind down, the ending descends into a cascade of increasingly preposterous revelations that threaten to undo the groundwork built up over the rest of the movie, and ultimately treats us to a montage of previous lines given retrospective significance after we’re afforded new information. Overall, the film isn’t nearly as clever as it thinks it is, but the mounting tension of the first three-quarters more than make up for the nosedive into implausibility as it begins wrapping things up.

The Vanished is by no means a perfect pic, but is certainly better than its generic DTV title would suggest, and if you’re after a couple of hours of tense mystery, you could do a lot worse than check it out.

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