The scariest horror movie that came out in 2011? Ask any TikToker, and they will likely tell you that it's Megan Is Missing, a found footage drama-thriller that tells the story of Megan Stewart, a 14-year-old who vanishes under mysterious circumstances following her date with a predator who claims to be a 17-year-old skateboarder online.
Many would like to know: is Megan Is Missing real? Is the film based on a true story?
'Megan Is Missing' alludes to past child abduction cases — but it is not based on a true story.
The use of found footage makes the movie feel all the more realistic. Fortunately for viewers, however, the main characters are played by actors, and the film doesn't chart Megan's abduction in real-time. However, the cinematography — which is characterised by bad framing and sketchy, amateurish camera movements — helps create the illusion that the film is true-to-life.
Megan Is Missing kicks off with a few scenes detailing Megan's (Rachel Quinn) first (online) encounters with a predator, who goes by the name of Josh, and her consequent abduction. The narrative shifts into full gear once her best friend, Amy (Amber Perkins), plunges herself into a personal investigation.
Megan Is Missing points to issues that became even more prevalent since its original release in 2011.
Grace Millane, Sydney Loofe, and Warriena Wright are just some of the women who lost their lives at the hands of murderers operating on apps like Tinder in recent years.
The director of 'Megan Is Missing' issued a trigger warning on TikTok only recently.
"I got a text from Amber Perkins, the lead actress in my movie, that it was exploding on TikTok at the moment," Michael Goi, the director of Megan Is Missing, explained in a TikTok.
"I didn't get to give you the customary warnings that I used to give people before they watched Megan Is Missing, which are: do not watch the movie in the middle of the night, do not watch the movie alone, and if you see the words 'Photo Number 1' pop up on your screen, you have about four seconds to shut off the movie if you're already freaking out before you start seeing things that maybe you don't want to see," he added.
'Megan Is Missing' is banned in New Zealand.
The movie was banned in New Zealand in October 2011, due to its graphic depictions of sexual and physical violence, along with its objectifying depictions of underage women.
The controversial horror garnered mixed responses over the years. Some condemn it for its disturbing use of sexually-charged imagery and for its ghastly scenes depicting rape and torture. Others believe it functions as a cautionary tale.
"It is 5am and for some reason Megan Is Missing is trending so I wanted to give anyone who may be interested in watching it a warning that it is a horror based on *realistic* trauma. It is extremely graphic and triggering to survivors of sexual assault, rape, abuse, and violence," tweeted a person.