I hadn’t heard of 2011’s MEGAN IS MISSING until exploring what all the fuss was about in regards to researching why this found-footage horror film had suddenly gone viral due to the popular TikTok app. The film was originally shot in 2006 and didn’t find distribution until 2011 when Anchor Bay Films gave it a limited theatrical release and from there it seemingly faded into obscurity. Now, all this time later, a believed to be forgotten horror film from nine years ago has been revived from the dead.
MEGAN IS MISSING was written and directed by Michael Goi and tells the story of two teenage best friends, Megan Stewart (Rachel Quinn) and Amy Herman (Amber Perkins). Taking place in North Hollywood, California, the film takes off when Megan begins talking to a boy she met online, and soon after this interaction, she disappears. This leads Amy down a very dangerous path in hopes of finding her.
The film is not based on a true story but Goi was inspired by real-life child abductions when creating the film. Since the film is presented as found footage, it’s given the illusion that it is real and it was marketing as such during its limited run. The apparent authenticity is what has given the film a new life on social media, particularly TikTok and Twitter. In a viral video that has more than 11 million viewers, TikTok user @aleigh.ander showed her horrified reaction while watching the movie and the video goes from slightly creeped out to concerning about 30 minutes in. Other TikTok users have also shared their reactions watching the film and it seems as if it has struck a chord with the mostly young audience experiencing the film for the first time. On Twitter, the film began trending on the social media giant, garnering over 55,000 recent tweets with commenters discussing its themes and intense scenes.
megan is missing man,, that shit got me staring at the wall and wanting to delete all my social media accounts and never come back ever again pic.twitter.com/DldL7b14P0
— batrisyia ? (@whoisbatrisyia) November 15, 2020
I watched Megan is Missing when i was really really little and i just wanted to say…THAT WAS SO FUCKING TRAUMATIZING FOR YEARS I DIDN’T WANNA LEAVE MY HOUSE AND WAS SCARED TO LET MY LITTLE SISTER AND BROTHER TO LEAVE THE HOUSE pic.twitter.com/83Y4CaNvF8
— little Mario (@andrea_maacias) November 15, 2020
MEGAN IS MISSING gained some notoriety because it was officially banned in New Zealand, with the country’s Office of Film and Literature Classification describing it as “objectionable.” Here is what they wrote in full:
“The feature depicts sexual violence and sexual conduct involving young people to such an extent and degree, and in such a manner, that the availability of the publication is likely to be injurious to the public good.”
Despite the controversy and much criticism leveled at the film at the time of its initial release, it received an endorsement from Marc Klaas, the father of 12-year-old Polly Klass who was kidnapped and killed in 1993. It appears that he thinks the film could be viewed as a cautionary tale about the dangers of young girls being lured away by older predators. To the writer and director’s credit, he commented on his movie’s revived popularity and issued a caution to people interested in watching it:
“I got a text from Amber Perkins, the lead actress in my movie, that it’s exploding on TikTok at the moment. 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 No. 1’ pop up on your screen, you have about four seconds to shut off the movie if you’re already kind of freaking out before you start seeing things that maybe you don’t want to see.”
please watch this if you’re considering watching megan is missing!!! i highly recommend against watching it but if you really want to pls watch this first pic.twitter.com/3QJbfIO50s
— peach ?? (@warrencers) November 15, 2020
Goi added “Apologies to those who are already posting about how the movie is already freaked them out. Fair warning to those of you who are still contemplating watching the film.”
Do YOU think MEGAN IS MISSING deserves its revived popularity or will it set an unsettling trend for the young people who are discovering it merely to post reaction videos on TikTok?