Two families. Two missing children. One search for the truth. VANISHED follows in the grand tradition of the Australian exploitation film, taking after the murder and revenge themes from MAD MAX and more recently THE HORSEMAN. Director Michael Adante uses the split story format to lay out the plot, which he converges with moderate success. Unfortunately, the clues behind the mystery are hastily put together and highly improbable. The film's protagonist says it best: "I can't explain it... Somehow I knew you had killed my son" after taking several drastic leaps in logic that lead to disbelief. We do not know enough about Caterina in the beginning to invest any emotion in her struggle, so her shift from grieving mother to heartless avenger puts her in the villain's chair. This is particularly true given Carolyn Bock's crazy-eyed performance, which makes it difficult to relate to her character. The supernatural twist in the end is also a questionable direction to take the revenge plot that, until then, has been built on purely tension and suspense. As an independent thriller, VANISHED is a valid attempt that fails to reach the same success as its predecessors.
Movies like VANISHED:
THE VANISHING, THE HORSEMAN, MAD MAX, RANSOM, WOLF CREEK, THE MACHINIST, HOSTEL, CARVED, IN THEIR SLEEP.