Gone (Ryan Ledwidge, 2007)
I continue to lack an understanding of why this film has ever been, much less continues to be, compared to Wolf Creek. The two films don’t even reside in the same genre of film, much less the same subgenre. Gone is an attempt at a cerebral thriller, far more in line with the various attempts to adapt the Ripley novels than a Wolf Creek-style gore film. The comparisons are sure to create unreasonable expectations in the minds of potential viewers; I can tell you this from personal experience. Not that I would have found the movie good had I known what I was getting into anyway; that just added an extra level of disappointment.
Plot: Alex (Cashback‘s Shaun Evans) is on his way into the hinterlands to meet up with his girlfriend Sophie (Quills‘ Amelia Warner) for a vacation. On his way, he stops for the night in Sydney, and meets Taylor (Peaceful Warrior‘s Scott Mechlowitz) in a bar. The next morning, Alex wakes up after a night of drinking far too much with Taylor and finds himself next to a woman. Taylor has photographic proof. That’s not creepy, right? Taylor offers Alex a ride, they pick up Sophie, and then the fun begins.
Or what should have been fun, but somehow managed to be dull as dishwater from first frame to last. There are so many places where this movie seemed like it should have been so much better than it was without ever actually seeming to aspire to get there. The cast is comprised of fine young actors, and all of them do capably here. The Australian landscape is gorgeous by default. Both of these things end up being more frustrating than anything, hamstrung as they are by a goofy script and a sense of pace that seems to have been plotted out by a meth addict, but only in between jolts. I think if someone had filmed a staged reading of this movie, I would have probably liked it better than what we actually got. **