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18 Apr 2012


Amanda Seyfried is once more a psychotic avenging angel in Gone.

Director: Heitor Dhalia

Screenplay: Allison Burnett

Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Daniel Sunjata, Jennifer Carpenter, Wes Bentley

Gone combines two of the most promising trends in recent Hollywood history: the stunt casting of the sexy Amanda Seyfried (Red Riding Hood) as an unhinged avenging angel and the parcelling out of B-movies to artsy and more competent non-American directors (Vacancy, Armored, Contraband, et al).

Here, Amanda Seyfried plays a mentally unhinged survivor of a serial killer. One year after her ordeal and subsequent stint at a sanatorium, she remains jittery and paranoid because she suspects the serial killer is still at large. Then her sister disappears right under her nose. Unfortunately for her, even the police department can't take her seriously because no proof of the serial killer's existence or that of his previous victims could be found. You know what that means, right? It's unhinged avenging angel pyscho detective time!

In a stroke of inspired genius, Heitor Dhalia improves on this B-movie premise by wedding it to old school Hitchcock thrillers. You know, the ones where a paranoid everyman/everywoman protagonist stumbles into an actual case by making a series of deductions while they poke around the garbage can of their neighbour. Hitchcockian thrillers are great to watch because they're not about connecting the dots but about the unhinged, paranoid mind that sees these dots and thinks they should be connected.

The film's only weakness is in its script, which is written by an American. The point about the Hitchcockian thriller is no matter how paranoid or unhinged the protagonists are, their deductions always seem plausible and reasonable. Sadly, we can't say that about the protagonist in Gone all the time.

Like the work of non-American directors recently roped in to direct various thrillers, Heitor Dhalia makes Gone a far better B-movie than it deserves to be.

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