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Summit Entertainment // PG-13 // May 29, 2012
List Price: $30.49 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Adam Tyner | posted May 20, 2012 | E-mail the Author
Wait, you're from Portland, right? You know that pit in Forest Park? No, no, no...the other pit. Right, where that serial killer used to dump all those nubile twentysomethings he snatched out of their
<boobjoke>Sorry, Amanda Seyfried's other 38s are just out of frame.</boobjoke>

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beds, never to be seen again. Well, for some reason, Jill (Amanda Seyfried) can't find the damned thing. She's been poring over all five thousand acres and change trying to stumble upon that pit again, crossing off a map sector-by-sector, even. You'd think she'd know the place pretty well seeing as how that murderous nutjob tossed her into the pit and left her for dead 'fore she escaped. No luck. The cops threw everything they had into the search and couldn't find hide nor hair of the Murder Pit, to the point where they don't even think there is a pit. I know! Jill's been doing her own search for months on end now and has come a cropper.

So, one night Jill comes home after a long day of scratching squares onto a map with her red BiC. Her kid sister Molly (Emily Wickersham) has some big final she's cramming for, but she takes just enough of a break to try to fix Jill up with...I don't know, some guy. Jill heads off to work third-shift at the diner, lets off a little too much steam at her self-defense class, and then rolls back home to wake up her sis for a last-minute cram session. Only...wait, Molly's not in her bed. Those boxers she was wearing last night -- no, the ones with the little blue stripes -- aren't in the hamper. The car's still there. The doors are locked. She's...::gulp!::...gone! Jill immediately fears the worst...that this was the night he came home. The cops aren't a whole lot of help since they think Jill's certifiable. I mean that totally literally too. Locked up in an asylum and everything. Molly's boyfriend assumes she's just relapsed and ankle-deep in another bender. That's why they call her Margarita Molly! Or Martini Molly. Or Molly Mojito. She's an alcoholic is what I'm getting at here. So, Jill does what Jill does best. Armed with a .38 and a hardware store receipt and stuff, she mounts her own investigation. Jill doesn't get a whole lotta help from the five-oh, though. The
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cops aren't even looking for Molly...they're looking for Jill!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11!!!!

I kind of wish Gone were shittier so I could at least hammer out a snarky, ostensibly funny review. Instead, it's just another room temperature thriller lacking much in the way of, y'know, thrills. It's just ticking off check boxes. PG-13-friendly shower scene? Check. Frantic car chase? Check. Pretty much 100% obscured, offscreen violence? Check. Pointless red herrings like Wes Bentley playing a creepy, helpful-in-the-face-of-all-reason detective? Check. Over-the-top vengeance-y finalé? Check. An endless parade of complete strangers who have way-too-much precise information to keep nudging Jill and the plot forward? Check. The girl who no one believes and the cops are after her and she keeps going anyway because she loves her sister so so so much and she needs to stop this guy once and for all and you wonder which of the creepy guys we've met throughout the movie will turn out to be the killer she knows totally exists but never got a good look at? Check. Five checks, I mean. However
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many checks that gets.

Gone is saddled by a paint-by-numbers screenplay, listlessly trudging its way through almost every trope in the Lifetime Original playbook. There's one very notable exception where Gone actually does stop marching in lockstep with formula, but I can't get into that without spoiling the ending, so whatever. Brazilian director Heitor Dhalia, fresh off the success of À Deriva at Cannes, fails to generate anything resembling energy or urgency. The direction is as aggressively anonymous as the writing, really. Vaguely memorable moments are few and far between, limited to bizarrely-penned dialogue about date rape-y eyes and Jill evading capture by overexcitedly regaling a couple of 14 year olds with tales of Justin Bieber. I guess I laughed out loud when an ominously monotone voice on the phone told Jill that they should meet up at an abandoned ranger's station so she could see that he's not that bad a guy. I scribbled "LOL" in my notes, at least.

Gone is an excruciatingly routine victim-turned-vengeful-asskicker thriller devoid of anyone or anything you'll give even a little bit of a shit about. I've suffered through worse, sure, but at least a lot of that dreck aimed high and missed. Gone is just disinterestedly going through the same exact motions as a couple thousand mediocre, interchangeable thrillers before it, and that's kind of even worse. Skip It.

Well, at least it looks nice. Gone's digital photography is strikingly sharp and detailed, backed by deep, inky blacks and a mildly stylized palette. A bunch of scenes early on are heavily tinted -- running the gamut from a forest green, cold steely blues, and adjective-less gold -- although that fades away pretty quickly, making way for something more blandly gray and desaturated. Gone is packed onto a single layer Blu-ray disc, but with a lean runtime, zero extras, and limited audio options, the AVC encode really doesn't have to struggle. Nothing really to gripe about this time around.

Gone is packing an awfully bland six-channel, 24-bit DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. It's one of those stereo-and-then-some tracks, keeping pretty much everything anchored across the front channels. Some of the
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more aggressive sequences are backed by a hefty low-frequency growl, and a couple of blink-and-you-miss-it moments such as someone darting out the door at the locksmith's joint will latch onto the surrounds some, but otherwise, the sound design here missed "cinematic" a couple of exits back. Gone's clunky dialogue is rendered cleanly and clearly throughout, and since there's not a whole lot else going in the mix, it never struggles for placement. Pretty thoroughly mediocre all around.

Subtitles are limited to English (SDH) and Spanish. There's also a Dolby Digital 5.1 (640kbps) dub in Spanish for anyone keeping track at home.

Yeah, that'd be nothing.

The Final Word
You're lookin' at a Lifetime Original Movie with glossier camerawork, and I don't mean that in a good way, so Gone...? Skip It.
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