Director: Ringan Ledwidge
Starring: Shaun Evans, Scott Mechlowicz, Amelia Warner
I'm not sure why but we're all fascinated by the idea of road trips. They seem so glamorous, so full of possibility, so free. And we all have that secret regret that we didn't go backpacking across Europe right out of high school. It just feels like such a wild & amazing thing to do, even if most of us don't ever do it and might not have enjoyed it if we had. That must be why there are so many movies made about road trips and sight-seeing adventures; because we want to see what it looks like, we want to imagine that we're there. So when a thriller is made in this same setting, we're already a little bit hooked. Gone takes us on a nightmare ride, a tour of the countryside that we feared might happen if we ever left the safety of our homes, which is probably why we didn't.
Alex, a young Brit, travels to Australia to meet up with his girlfriend Sophie. But before this reunion, he is introduced to Taylor, a charismatic American who is driving across the the country. The boys party with two girls and Alex awakens with a girl & with Taylor taking a picture. With this guilt hanging over his head, Alex accepts a ride from Taylor and can't seem to shake him, even when he reaches his destination. Sophie is taken with this new friend, and the trio begin a trip to see the sights. Along the way, Alex begins to grow suspicious of Taylor, believing that he will ultimately tell Sophie about the drunken night & make his own move on her. Events escalate, and the young adults find themselves fighting for survival in the barren Australian bush.
The setting pretty much makes this movie. It was a cool idea from the beginning, though one that's been done before. It was a little Talented Mr. Ripley without the great actors, but it actually held its own surprisingly well. There was a sense of dread & fear throughout the film that left me with the feeling that the story would not end well. I didn't mind that I pretty much knew what was going to happen because the plot was a classic one, it was just the actors who were new. And they did a good job, giving strong performances if not amazing ones. I was really curious as to how it would all play out and enjoyed watching it until the end when things got a little messy and Amelia Warner screamed & cried too much. But other than that, it was a surprisingly clean movie with a simple story that gave a cool creepy vibe. Not bad for what it was; not spectacular I guess, but I've seen worse.
My rating: ✰ ✰ ✰
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