The 2023 screenlife thriller Missing, starring Euphoria actor Storm Reid, landed on Netflix recently and has garnered a positive response from critics and viewers. It is an anthology sequel to the 2018 sleeper hit Searching, the Aneesh Chaganty film based on Sev Ohanian story starring John Cho, who plays a harried father whose daughter goes missing.
Written and directed by Will Merrick and Nick Johnson, in their feature directorial debuts, the story of Missing is by Ohanian and Chaganty, who also produced the film with Natalie Qasabian.
The story centres around June Allen (Reid), a teenager who embarks on a quest to find her mother, who goes missing during a vacation in Colombia alongside her new boyfriend. The film begins with a young June watching a video with her late father, James (Tim Griffin), who passed away from a brain tumour. Years later, June’s mother, Grace (Nia Long), is shown going on a trip to Colombia with her boyfriend, Kevin (Ken Leung). However, when June goes to pick them up from the airport, they never arrive. June takes matters into her own hands. She starts to investigate using digital tools and the help of a Colombian gig worker named Javier (Joaquim de Almeida). She discovers that Kevin has a criminal past and suspects him of kidnapping her mother.
As the investigation unfolds, June uncovers shocking details about her family’s history and the truth behind her mother’s disappearance.
Explaining the ending of ‘Missing’:
A take on internet sleuthing and our generation’s obsession with true crime, Missing manages to navigate wild theories to solve a more straightforward but just as unsettling case of kidnapping and domestic violence.
At the end of Missing, June discovers that her mother, Grace, never made it to her vacation. She was kidnapped by June’s biological father, James, who had been in cahoots with Kevin since they met in prison years ago. James poses as Grace’s cab driver on her way to the airport and abducts her.
It is then revealed that James was an abusive drug addict, and when he got arrested, Grace told June that her father had died of cancer to protect her from the truth. She also changed their surname and moved them to a different city so that James could not find them again. But looking for revenge, James hatched a plan with his prison pal Kevin to find them and lure Grace away from June.
With Grace out of the way, James reaches out to June and misinforms her about Grace’s mental stability and intentions for separating him from his daughter. When June connects the dots and realises that James is responsible for Grace’s disappearance, he takes her hostage as well and brings her back to where he was holding Grace. The mother-daughter duo manage to fight off James and escape with Siri’s help.
The film fast-forwards to several months later when their story has been adapted for a true crime show called Unfiction.