They share secrets.
They chat with guys online.
And in a few days, they will never be seen again.
Megan is Missing is a 2011 horror drama about two teenage girls who encounter an internet predator. It was directed by Michael Goi and stars Amber Perkins, Rachel Quinn, and Dean Waite.
Megan Stewart is a promiscuous 14-year-old girl with a troubled past. Her best friend Amy Herman is unpopular and socially awkward and clings to her relationship with Megan as a lifeline to social acceptance. They go to parties, chat on cell phones, share secrets with each other, and spend time online. One day, Megan is introduced by an online friend of hers to a boy by the name of Josh. The two of them bond quickly, and Megan finds herself attracted to him, telling Amy about him and eventually agreeing to meet him. Megan vanishes soon after, never to be seen again.
The police investigate her disappearance, but with few to no leads, they begin to assume that nothing untoward happened to her and that she simply ran away. But Amy believes otherwise, and after a chat with Josh raises suspicions about Megan's fate and security camera footage reveals that Megan was abducted, Amy reports him to the police, which re-sparks the investigation as she begins to keep a video log of her feelings toward the turn of events.
But as the kidnapper's attention turns towards Amy, nothing can prepare her for the horror to come, and she may well end up the next one to disappear forever...
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...
- Adults Are Useless: In this case, worse than useless. When Amy reports "Josh" to the police, her face and full name are shown on TV as the source of the information. Of course, the police offers no protection at all to Amy or her family. Needless to say, she doesn't last long, and the cops lose the closest thing they had to a witness in this case.
- An Aesop: Don't always trust who you meet online.
- Ax-Crazy: Josh. At first, he looks like a nice and gentle boy. Turns out he's a psychopathic murderer and sexual sadist. Amy in-universe even calls him "crazy".
- The Bad Guy Wins: Josh kidnaps and kills Megan, he then kidnaps, rapes, tortures, and kills Amy when she goes looking for her. He gets away and is never brought to justice for his actions.
- 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 the webcam.
- He also says to Amy that he would never hurt her. Seeing what happens next...
- Body Horror: The contraption that Josh puts Megan in after he kidnaps her.
- Break the Cutie: Amy.
- Broken Bird: Megan who was raped and molested both by her stepfather and a camp counselor.
- Buried Alive: Amy suffers this fate at the end.
- Can't Hold His Liquor: Amy at the party.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Both Megan and Amy.
- 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.
- Disposing of a Body: Josh manages to dispose of Megan's body and kill Amy in one fell swoop when he buries the barrel containing her corpse as well as Amy herself. While Amy is still alive.
- Downer Ending: Josh stuffs Amy into a barrel with Megan's rotting corpse and then buries her alive. He isn't caught, either.
- Dull Surprise: Upon Amy's abduction, her parents plead that whoever has kidnapped her should let her go, looking incredibly bored the whole time. Usually, when parents act like that in such a situation in real life, the public would become suspicious that they're somehow involved.
- Ephebophile: Assuming he isn't actually 17, Josh is definitely this. Just ask Megan and/or Amy.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Josh's voice is quite low and kinda sensuous but sinister at the same time.
- The Faceless: Josh's face is never shown. We only hear his voice.
- Faux Affably Evil: Josh.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Amy is a Type 1 to all of Megan's other friends due to her longtime friendship with Megan.
- Hate Sink: Not only is Josh a Manipulative Bastard who kidnapped, tortured, raped and murdered two teenage girls, he gets away with it too! And the scariest part about him is people like him exist in the real world.
- Incompatible Orientation: Lexie is in love with Megan, who isn't exactly into women.
- Jump Scare:
- Photo #1.
- When Amy finds Megan's rotting corpse in the barrel.
- Jitter Cam: There's a bit of this when it comes to the cell phone footage.
- Karma Houdini: Josh never gets caught.
- Meaningful Background Event: When Amy first goes to the bridge, you can see a man in the background, watching her if you look carefully. It's Josh.
- 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 disappearance of one. Then the last twenty-two minutes become a genuine terror.
- Earlier on, while playing with Amy's new camera, Megan gives an autobiographical interview for a mockumentary, which starts out lighthearted and bubbly but then takes a sudden dramatic turn when she describes being molested by her stepfather, followed by her mother blaming her for him going to jail. She finishes the interview in tears and immediately receives a comforting hug from Amy.
- Never My Fault: Lexie blames everything about Megan's kidnapping on Amy despite the fact that Megan's communication with Josh would have never happened had it not been for her.
- 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.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Josh isn't the main antagonist's real name. And he makes it very clear when to Amy when he abducts her.
- Parental Incest: Megan's (unseen) stepfather.
- 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 back 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.
- Rape as Drama: Happens to Amy at Josh's hands, and definitely happened to Megan before and after her disappearance. Not just from Josh, but also her stepfather and a camp counselor when she was a preadolescent.
- Really Gets Around: Who hasn't gotten oral sex from Megan?
- Scare 'Em Straight: The film's basic message towards teenage girls is to never ever talk to a stranger online or else you will be kidnapped, raped, tortured, murdered, and stuffed into a barrel.
- Snuff Film: The last twenty minutes.
- The Sociopath: Josh appears to be a friendly guy at first. However, as the film goes on, he begins to show his true colors.
- Starter Villain: The boys from the party.
- Stepford Smiler: Megan, who is the most popular girl at school but is actually extremely miserable with her life.
- 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 a potentially dangerous kidnapper? And it was already insinuated that you might be in danger? And Josh said that he might come after you?
- Torture Cellar: The basement where Josh rapes and tortures Amy.
- Torture Porn: The last twenty minutes.
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The whole film purports to be based on six separate incidents involving teenage girls and sexual predators, none of which have been specified.
- Wild Teen Party: The house party at the beginning of the film, where Megan performs fellatio and Amy pukes after drinking too much.