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Vanished (DVD Review)

Vanished - www.whysoblu.comWhen a child is kidnapped in the middle of nowhere, the parents Winona Gant and her fiancé‚ Hunter are torn. Suddenly, the phone rings, it’s the kidnapper and they’re not looking for money… She wants retribution! `Vanished’ is a gripping psychological thriller dealing with child kidnapping and how far a parent will go seeking revenge. This review will only cover the film itself since the DVD screener we received was a check-disc watermarked copy and did not contain special features and only played in stereo. The final version of the DVD contains a 5.1 surround soundtrack, behind-the-scenes footage, a gallery, and a trailer.  

Vanished - www.whysoblu.com

Film  

Vanished is a new film from down under (Australia) starring Cassandra Magrath (Wolf Creek), Carolyn Brock, and Stephen Carracher. It’s the story of a couple and their young son Caleb, who one day, while at the park mysteriously vanishes without a trace right in front of them. Time goes on and the kidnappers make contact with Caterina (Bock) and Hunter (Carracher) as to where they can deliver the ransom money. The police stay close behind, which upsets the kidnappers even more. It’s during these difficult times that the media begin to speculate that maybe Caterina and Hunter kidnapped and possibly killed their own child. Tensions flare with friends, family, and the police. It’ll be an uphill battle for them both to clear their names.

On the other side of the spectrum we have Winona (Magrath) who is the mother of a young daughter that also finds herself kidnapped – possible by the same person or persons that kidnapped young Caleb. Winona will also need to use all of her resources to find her daughter before it’s too late.

Vanished was a neat little film that blended several genres together. It was a drama, thriller, mystery, and horror film all in one. The greatest horror of them all in the parent’s loss of a child and what parents would do to get their kids back. Yeah, sounds horrifying to me. Vanished is cleverly edited together, so if you’re not careful you may get lost along away. I will say that the editing is its biggest weakness and its biggest strength. It’s the editing that gives Vanished its shape and scope. My eyes were glued to the screen but I did lose my place during several instances throughout the film. Not because I wasn’t paying attention but because the film is riddled with metaphor and will cut away at the most unexpected of times. There are tons of flashbacks and flash forwards that it becomes easy to lose one’s place.  It’s also an Australian film with an Australian cast – the accents came into play when things began to heat up. You may or may not have to rewind in order to catch some of what was being said.

When we finally did get to the payoff moment it was really a neat reveal, because the film opened up to more possibilities than the standard procedural fare that is typical of a film on this subject. I really can’t say that Vanished borrows or copies anything else from films dealing with the same subject that have come before it. You’ll really have to keep your eyes glued to the set in order to capture every detail.

For being a very low budget film Vanished does amp up the production values and you never feel like your watching something that was cheaply put together even though it was most likely cheaply put together. I dig this type of filmmaking, because it takes guts to do it. I do believe that Vanished is available through Redbox to rent and you may purchase a DVD copy via our links here on WSB. Vanished won’t win any awards for best film but it’s definitely worth a rental. There are some very cool and haunting moments in Vanished. Give it a go.

 

Summary  

Again, we were only given a screener check-disc copy of the DVD that contained a watermark and no extras, therefore we cannot review the DVD to the usual scale. I liked what I saw and give it a rental recommendation.

Order Vanished on DVD!

Vanished - www.whysoblu.com

 

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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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