Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Nov 30, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Searching is built entirely on a gimmick we've seen before but it doesn't make it any less effective. Told as if we are watching a computer desktop the entire time (think the Unfriended movies), we watch as one father tries to piece together the clues of his missing daughter.

The movie opens in a bit of a creative exposition dump, as we are guided through the Kim family history, showing changing times based on the type of desktop computer shown. We watch the family grow, go through unspeakable heartbreak as the wife and mother of the family passes away. David Kim (John Cho) is now raising his teenage daughter Margot (Michelle La) alone, keeping close tabs on her through FaceTime and instant messaging.

One night, David receives several consecutive calls from Margot, which go unanswered in the middle of the night. The next morning, he can't get a hold of her but just assumes she has already gone to school. As the day goes on, David becomes increasingly worried when there is no word from Margot.

A missing persons case is launched, led by Detective Rosemary Vick (Debra Messing). David reacts like any parent would through such a nightmarish scenario. He doesn't sleep or go to work and becomes consumed with taking the reigns of the investigation because the police aren't working fast enough.

Like any thriller, Searching's twists and red herrings come as the movie progresses, which keeps things engaging. The general machinations of a missing persons story are all front-and-center but director Aneesh Chaganty keeps things suspenseful and moving at such a kinetic pace, you will feel like you are in the computer screen. Gimmicks be damned: it works.

Searching premiered this January at the Sundance Film Festival and was later released in August, making $70 million worldwide. Now available on DVD and Blu-Ray, Searching is worth discovering if you missed it upon its theatrical release.


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