On paper, Brazilian director Heitor Dhalia's Hollywood feature debut in GONE sounds like a potential psychological thriller: Amanda Seyfried plays Jill, a former kidnapping victim who also previously institutionalized following the death of her parents. She claimed she managed to escape from death a year ago when a mysterious man abducted her and dump her in deep down a well-like hole somewhere in Portland, Oregon's Forest Park. However the police found no evidence of the crime after her escape whatsoever. A year later, she is convinced that the same kidnapper is back for revenge, and this time her sister Molly (Emily Wickersham) has gone missing. Wasting no time, Jill races against the time to play vigilante in an effort to find the kidnapper all by herself, especially when the head of the police detective Powers (Daniel Sunjata) who previously handled her last case, claimed she is delusional all over again. So the biggest question: is Jill really delusional or Molly's sudden disappearance turns out to be true after all?
At the beginning of the movie, GONE works nearly well as a whodunit especially after Molly has gone missing and Jill starts her own investigation. Everybody she comes across to are possible suspect, which makes the story angle rather interesting to pay attention for. But Dhalia and screenwriter Allison Burnett doesn't seems to have a single clue how to sustain the viewers' interest as the movie progresses further. Halfway through, it doesn't take long before the movie grows increasingly repetitive with formulaic thrills that are either lazy or terribly cliched (e.g. the old "cat-jumps-out-from-the-closet/door" scene). Of course the biggest problem of all is that the movie seems to be teasing that there might be a possible twist in the end, but Dhalia isn't interested to pull a rabbit out of the hat. Instead, towards the climactic finale, everything is clearly straightforward after all. By then, the payoff is terribly a letdown with some random killer finally revealed in the end and I must say, it's a total rip-off.
Poor Amanda Seyfried, who shoulders most of the movie's length looking either hysterical or clueless the whole time. The rest of the supporting cast barely registers either, with terribly thankless performances from Daniel Sunjata, Wes Bentley, Jennifer Carpenter and Michael Pare. Apart from some effective moments earlier in the movie and some of Michael Grady's moody cinematography on the Northwest locations, GONE is pretty much a huge disappointment.