Megan is Missing a Proper Director

The not-so-hidden flaws in the 2020 appraised film


Charlie Princing, Contributor

Megan is Missing– I’m sure you’ve heard of it. It’s the infamous horror thriller that blew up in 2020 on popular social media platform TikTok. People have raved constantly about how shocking and traumatizing the conclusion of the film is. However, these ravings are entirely unfounded and simply misleading.

The movie opens with two girls attempting to make a vlog at a diner. The way this is executed is clearly an attempt to replicate a found-footage style film, as though we the viewers are recovering the old video logs and tapes before the tragedy of this movie strikes. However, it entirely fails to achieve this mood. With the combined efforts of mediocre acting and terrible camera work and positioning, the movie fails to achieve the type of setting that movies like The Blair Witch Project famously succeeds in using. To tackle such a difficult form of filmmaking as a found footage style presents, one must need an incredibly talented group of actors. Unfortunately, it seems Michael Goi happened to cast the first group of people he spotted when he was walking down the street one day.

Speaking of Michael Goi, he pompously takes advantage and attempts to advertise his movie further on the social media platform it initially blew up on – TikTok.

“[…] I didn’t get to give you the customary warnings that I used to give people before they watched Megan is Missing which are: do not watch the movie in the middle of the night, do not watch the movie alone, and if you see the words ‘Photo Number 1’ pop up on your screen you have about four seconds to shut off the movie if you’re already kind of freaking out […]” – Michael Goi on his first TikTok post

Not only does Michael Goi talk about his movie as though it is the most traumatizing film to watch ever, he also fails to present any sort of warning at the beginning or in the description of his film. The fact that he had to go on TikTok to give this type of content warning before watching the film proves his negligence to understand the type of film he is going for. 

Moreover, the acting in the film is so appalling that it is difficult to stay immersed in the setting. The leading girls act as though they have never been in front of a camera before, and are terrified to be in that position for (likely) the first time.

The cinematography of the film is ugly and unprofessional, with the palette of each shot being disgusting and muddy due to the camera quality and lack of color correction. This, combined with the still, static positions of the camera does little to help justify the rave about how terrifying this film is.

More on the topic of the filming of this, well, film, the found-footage excuse hardly makes up for the strange choice of camera positions. For instance, there is a segment of the film where a girl’s computer is used to film a conversation between her and her parents. This part of the film is strange due to there being no explanation as to why the camera is recording at this point in time. 

The movie also includes an incredibly unnecessary and uncomfortable depiction of sexual assault at its conclusion. This causes the unfortunate instance of the “peak-end rule”, where the peak of a situation can affect someone’s mood on the entire experience overall. Although the film is unignorably garbage, people look back on it as having been terrifying simply because of the way it concludes. 

However, the last scene is hardly even appropriate in and of itself. It is only included for shock value. It does not make a statement, it does not feel necessary, and it is quite honestly offensive. Survivors of these kinds of incidents should not have to be reaffirmed of their trauma when simply trying to watch a movie- especially one that doesn’t include any sort of warning before viewing or in the description. 

To conclude,  Megan is Missing is a mistake of a blockbuster. It did not deserve to gross as highly as it did. Small-budget movies are always a wonder to behold- and you can do amazing things with an extremely tight budget. Take Halloween, for example: that movie had an incredibly small amount of funds, and still managed to make a monumental, unforgettable experience. Megan is Missing failed at that. Nobody will be leaving their house months later thinking about how great of an experience Megan is Missing was. It won’t ever make the history books. Critics won’t call back to it. It commits the worst sin any film can manage: it’s forgettable.