‘The Vanished’ may be the sleeper hit of 2020

Benjamin Haylett, Arts & Leisure Editor

The acting? Mostly garbage.
The editing? Trash.
The continuity between shots that occur in the same scene? All over the place.
The twist ending? So good that it makes everything that I just complained about worth it.
When my girlfriend told me that we should watch “The Vanished” on Netflix, it is safe to say that I was pretty skeptical.
For starters, she doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to picking out movies, something that I lovingly point out every movie night.
Secondly, not only had I not heard anything about this movie’s release, I also didn’t recognize any of the actors in the film.
None of this boded well for the film, but against all odds, I really enjoyed “The Vanished.”
When a couple takes their daughter on a vacation over the Thanksgiving holiday break to a remote RV campsite, their vacation quickly turns sour as their daughter suddenly goes missing.
To add insult to injury, an escaped convict is on the loose and now the couple has to work together with the local sheriff to bring their daughter home safely.
Between the escaped convict, the workers at the campsite and the other campers, everyone is a suspect.
While most of my preconceived notions about “The Vanished” turned out to be true, about halfway through the movie, I couldn’t have cared less. I was completely engrossed in the story, and not in an ironic, “this movie is so bad it’s good,” kind of way.
While just about every character acts completely irrationally throughout the entirety of the film, and more than one major coincidence pops up, I found myself thoroughly engaged with the story.
The movie is broken up into each day of the investigation from the time the daughter disappears, and the sheer amount of action that the filmmakers were able to pack into each day without making it feel bloated is a feat in itself.
With a runtime of just under two hours, it is surprising just how fast that goes by, a sentiment my girlfriend and I both attested to.
While “The Vanished” certainly doesn’t keep you on the edge of your seat, it gets your attention quickly — and keeps it.
I’m always a fan of a good twist ending, and “The Vanished” ranks up with “Knives Out” and “The Sixth Sense” in that respect.
I wouldn’t put the overall quality of the film with those, but I was very impressed by the complexity of the ending and was surprised to find just how much of it was foreshadowed earlier in the film.
I’d recommend this movie based on the final 15 minutes alone.
To wrap up, “The Vanished” isn’t going to be winning any awards anytime soon, but I can absolutely see it gaining a cult following.
It isn’t a hidden gem by any stretch of the imagination, but if I had to use a similar metaphor, I’d say “The Vanished” is the film equivalent of a cool stick that you find on the trail and carry around for a little bit.



[email protected]