Review: ‘Searching’ puts its chills right on the screen

Not the typical abduction film

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Sam Haselby, Film Critic

The Number-1 fear of a parent no doubt is having the most valuable thing in their lives, their child, taken away from them.

As a community it scares everyone, feeling the vibrating phone and pulling it out to see that there is an Amber alert.

“Searching” has every child’s fear of someone following them realized, and every parent’s fear of something happening to their child increased to the fullest extent.

“Searching” incorporates a heart breaking opener. The film begins with a back story of a simple family —  a mother, a father and a daughter, their only child.

From the perspective of the screen of their home computer, the audience is taken through the lives of this family and the tragedy that they go through. The mother eventually is shown to have died from cancer, leaving only a broken father and a daughter who does not know who she is anymore, which gets her into trouble.

This film is unlike any other abduction movie anyone has seen in recent times, if ever. The format of the film is unique, as its entirety is from the perspective of either the father’s or the daughter’s computer.

This format may seem as though it would ruin the film, but it actually enhances the audience’s involvement with the characters, induces much more stress and allows the audience to try and solve this mystery simultaneous with the efforts of the father.

There are moments of high stress and anxiety, which causes the viewers to yell at the screen because they see something that the characters do not. Tangled up within the film is a complicated mystery similar to the elaborateness of a spiderweb that catches one with its tantalizing charm and beautifully spun twists that make those caught feel chills slither through their body, and goosebumps surface the epidermis in fear and shock.

This film is not an ordinary abduction film, but rather one that allows the audience to be a part of the team of detectives working to solve this case. The viewer follows the father’s drift into madness as the question of what happened to his daughter nags at him and the viewers more than a mother-in-law trying to clean the house when she visits for the weekend, and they will leave the theater having to warn people to watch their step, because their jaw is dragging across the floor.