Megan is Missing is about two teenage girls named Megan Stewart and Amy Herman; Megan is a promiscuous young 14 year old who has a troubled past while Amy is a goody-good girl who's led a rather sheltered life. Somehow, the two girls manage to be best friends. Eventually, Megan begins talking to a guy named Josh online. She tells Amy about him and agrees to meet him. She vanishes after and Amy begins to make a video log about her feelings toward the turn of events. It does not go well.
Examples in this film:
Abusive Parents: Megan's mother is extremely verbally and psychologically abusive, throwing tantrums and breaking her stuff when she gets angry. And let's not even get started on her stepfather...
Adult Fear: This movie is ALL about the fear of losing children to online predators and boy does it hammer the point home. Over and over...
Banned in China: The film is banned in New Zealand. According to this article, the country's Film and Video Labeling Board "claimed that it contained sexual violence and sexual conduct involving young people to such an extent and degree, and in such a manner that if it was released it would be ‘injurious to the public good’. They went on to say that it relished in the spectacle of one girl’s ordeal, including a three-minute rape scene. They also stated that it sexualised the lives of young teenage girls to a ‘highly exploitative degree’.”.
Based on a True Story: The whole film is based on six separate incidents involving teenage girls and sexual predators.
Being Watched: Amy gets this treatment after she reports "Josh" to the police and media.
Blatant Lies: Josh's excuses for not showing his face on webcam.
Body Horror: The contraption that Josh puts Megan in after he kidnaps her.
Daylight Horror: Several instances, like when Josh is watching Amy in the background of the bridge scene, or more disturbingly, after he finishes burying her alive, when he turns around to leave, the sun has just started coming up.
Downer Ending: Josh stuffs Amy into a barrel with Megan's rotting corpse and then buries her alive. He isn't caught, either.
Dueling Movies: With Trust, another independent film dealing with the subject of online predators that was released around the same time. The films differ widely in their presentation of the topic, though, with Trust focusing more on the dramatic effects of rape and Megan Is Missing being more of a Scare 'Em Straight-type film complete with a far more darker and Squickier ending.
The Friend Nobody Likes: Amy is a Type 1 to all of Megan's other friends due to her longtime friendship with Megan.
Hypocrite: The director has a long message on the film's website complaining about, in part, how the media focuses too much on white victims. This film is all about a missing white girl. Even the Lampshade Hanging doesn't excuse that he's buying in to the same thing he's complaining about.
Meaningful Background Event: When Amy first goes to the bridge, you can see a man in the background, watching her if you look carefully.
Missing White Woman Syndrome: Parodied during one of the news reports, where several minutes are devoted to updates on the search for Megan and memories from her friends and family. At the end of the report, a black boy who also went missing gets little more than an offhand comment.
Mood Whiplash: The majority of the movie is an occasionally creepy but mostly normal found footage movie about two teenage girls and the eventual disappearence of one. Then the last twenty minutes become pure terror.
Nothing Is Scarier: After Megan's second webcam chat with Josh, she leaves her room, but the camera remains on, giving the feeling that Josh is still silently watching. It lasts for about 15 seconds and is just...creepy.
Present Day Past: Set in 2007, but features technology more common now: most glaring is that the characters have video chats on their phones. While smartphones with this feature did exist in 2007, it seems unlikely that the characters would have such a phone at 13/14 years old at that time (being that the phones in question would be ridiculously expensive). It was probably done for ease of storytelling, and possibly slightly justified as the characters are mentioned as living in a relatively wealthy area of California.
Too Dumb to Live: Amy, we know you've gone through hell, but was it really the best idea to go off all by yourself in a secluded area, twice, RIGHT AFTER reporting who you believe to be potentially dangerous kidnapper? And it was already insinuated that you might be in danger? And Josh said that he might come after you?