Over the weekend, TikTok users discovered the movie Megan Is Missing. The horror film, which is about a decade old at this point, is a psychological movie about two best friends, one of whom goes missing after meeting an online acquaintance.
The rest of the film follows her best friend Amy, as she tries to piece together what happened to her BFF.
With the movie resurfacing among teens and tweens, director Michael Goi decided to take to TikTok himself to issue a content warning about "Photo No. 1."
So, what exactly is this mysterious “Photo No. 1,” and why is it so traumatizing that the maker of the movie had to issue a separate warning for it altogether?
What is the “Photo No. 1” warning in 'Megan Is Missing'?
Michael Goi, the writer and director of 2011 film Megan Is Missing, took to TikTok to issue a content warning for his own movie after the film went viral on the video app. In his post, Michael said that he learned that his movie had resurfaced through one of its stars, lead actress Amber Perkins, who texted Michael that the movie was “exploding on TikTok.”
The director, who’s since worked on varied projects like Web Therapy and American Horror Story, said in his video, “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.”
Sounds like pretty standard horror movie protocol.
But Michael had more to say.
He went on to warn viewers about the one thing that they should not do while watching this horror movie. “If you see the words Photo No. 1 pop up on your screen, you have about four seconds to shut off the movie if you're already kind of freaking out before you start seeing things that maybe you don't want to see.”
The unspecific warning about “Photo No. 1” naturally piqued the morbid interest of everyone on the internet, which we will get into shortly.
But if you get queasy easily, consider this your formal trigger warning to stop reading.
What is “Photo No. 1”?
With Michael’s warning post garnering over 4.6 million views in just a few days, Twitter users have filled in the blanks and shared what “Photo No. 1” is all about.
For the curious, it’s first relevant to know that Megan Is Missing makes heavy use of “found footage,” a style that was popularly in use for horror films of the time and exemplified in the cult horror movie The Blair Witch Project.
The warning for “Photo No. 1” is essentially a warning for the disturbing photos that Amy finds of Megan. While searching for her missing best friend, Amy comes across pictures of Megan being mutilated, tortured, and raped, posted to online fetish forums.
These are the images that director Michael Goi wanted viewers to be aware of.
We know now that the movie and the photos are completely fictional but the use of “found footage” makes it feel more realistic. While the graphic content isn’t based on an actual case, Michael has said that he based the story on real-life cases of child abductions and wanted the graphic images to serve as a cautionary tale.
He ended his TikTok warning with, “Apologies to those who are already posting about how the movie freaked them out, but fair warning to those of you who are still contemplating watching the film.”
Watch Megan Is Missing at your own risk!