And not for one second do you believe Seyfried is frightened for that sister. A fine actress on most occasions, here she's loping along like the pretty girl scared of mussing her hair and makeup in gym class. There's nothing in the film - which lacks urgency - or her eyes or physical demeanor that suggests panic, fear, desperation.
Jill should be desperate. She was abducted a year ago, and escaped. No one believed her.
"He's come back for me. He took my sister because I wasn't there!"
The Portland cops are tired of her routine. They won't look for her sister. But when Jill, who sizes up the "kidnapping" as if she's been expecting it, sets out to solve the case in the few hours she thinks Molly has left, every cop in town is sent out to stop her.
Gone is a 95-minute thriller that hinges on whether we believe Jill - on medication since her trauma, briefly institutionalized after it as well - is right, or whether this is all in her head.
Every man she meets is a threat. Could the "kidnapper" be the creepy locksmith, the creepy customer in her diner, the creepy janitor, the creepy cop (Wes Bentley)? But the movie fails to do much with that mystery. That makes for a thriller that feels sedate and slow, and a big payoff that feels like a cheat.
And Seyfried never sells "crazy." She didn't get the direction or the number of takes necessary for that to come off. Or maybe she was too worried about her perfect hair and makeup.
Gone *1/2 (out of four stars)
Directed by Heitor Dhalia. With Amanda Seyfried, Emily Wickersham, Daniel Sunjata, Wes Bentley, and Michael Pare. Distributed by Summit Entertainment.
Running time: 1 hour, 35 mins.
Parent's guide: PG-13 (violence and terror, some sexual material, profanity and drug references)
Playing at: area theaters