Long Gone

In a quiet rural area of England, people are disappearing. This is bad enough by itself, but in this case two of the missing are police officers. It can't be reassuring when the very people who are supposed to be dedicated to protecting you are slowly becoming victims themselves.

Enter intrepid reporter Chris (Drew Horsley) and his photographer Amanda (Hannah Walker). Well, actually Chris is rather a pompous jerk who greatly enjoys talking down to Amanda, but to be fair he is clearly determined to get the story and he thinks he has a fresh angle that might get results.

The search right now is naturally concentrated on the town of Fenningbury where the two officers disappeared -- first Robert Saxon (Gareth Lilley) and more recently Greg Jones (Rod Glenn). But Chris wants to go back to the original victim, businesswoman Heather Lanford (Arabella Arnott), who disappeared a short distance away in the midst of a large wooded area. Amanda doesn't think it sounds safe, but of course Chris scoffs at this and off they go.

Naturally things quickly stop going according to plan. It always amuses me to see these city folks flailing around out in the woods, trying to walk in their impractical shoes and panicking every time a squirrel rustles in the leaves. But Chris' idea has worked out a little too well in general, and he and Amanda are now very aware that they aren't alone in these woods. Getting out of there before two reporters are added to the list of the missing isn't going to be easy, though, especially since this kidnapper understands human nature all too well.

The reporters come to life very convincingly even though as a short there isn't a lot of room for character development. There's zero exploration of the whys and wherefores of the crazed kidnapper's motivations, though, which is a shame and makes me hope for a possible feature-length version. Still, the pacing here is perfect for the length, there's a great build of suspense, and an excellent reveal, making it a compelling watch just as it is. When you're an intrepid reporter, sometimes the story gets you.

Chris and Amanda begin their grim search.


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