Searching: Film Review

Searching is told in a way that people will either love or hate – all through screens. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it, but you get used to it pretty quickly and it was really cool. Searching is inventive, has substance to go along with the style, and is one gripping thriller.

John Cho plays David Kim, whose daughter Margot goes missing. A detective named Rosemary Vick (Debra Messing) is assigned to the case, but David does his own investigating – searching through Margot’s computer files and social media to find clues about her disappearance.

This is told from the point of view of smartphone and computer screens, so we learn everything through FaceTime calls, news reports and social media videos etc. It is impressive how they manage to build the characters and their back story just through showing us a montage of clips from home videos in the beginning and how they build the mystery, tension and intrigue via screens. They find inventive ways to tell different parts of the story and I had no idea where it was going to go.

It also makes you wonder how much someone could find out about you from social media and your computer if you were in Margot’s place. I dread to think!

Cho is excellent as the despairing father. He doesn’t give up and is determined and desperate to find out what happened to Margot. He is captivating and you buy into all of his theories and want him to get to the bottom of it all. I only really know Messing from Will & Grace so it was cool to see her doing something completely different and playing this hard-nosed detective.

I didn’t see the twist coming at all. I knew there had to be one but it wasn’t what I expected. It really helped seal the deal with this – I was gripped, my mouth dropped open and I was so involved. It really is an impressive tense thriller. I just wish the proper ending was different to make it go out with a bang.

Not everybody will like the way it is told. The 2014 horror movie Unfriended used a similar concept but wasn’t as effective because it just used webcam chats and didn’t try to build character as it was purely about scares. Searching is very clever, different to everything you’ve ever seen before, and 100% worth a go.

In cinemas Friday 31st August 

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