1 Disc Widescreen Edition (2010)
"The Disappeared" was written by Johnny Kevorkian and Neil Murphy and directed by Kevorkian. Matthew Ryan (Harry Treadaway) is returning home from being in a "looney bin" for some time after the disappearance of his younger brother which he feels responsible for. Matthew hasn't given up trying to find out what happened to his brother and has begun to see and hear the ghost of Tom trying to send him a message about the disappearances that have been going on.
This was a very thrilling psychological horror story that unfolds very gradually and picks up momentum as it progresses. Some twists are decipherable from the beginning but one in particular is very surprising. What is fascinating is that the older brother keeps hearing and seeing things that the camera shows aren't there for others to see so throughout it begs the question whether the ghost is real or if it is all in Matthew's head.
Harry Treadaway as Matthew has to bounce back and forth from being somewhat numb as an after effect of the drugs he has been on to a determination to solve this mystery once and for all. He doesn't know how to trust with what he has been hearing and seeing because everything still thinks he is crazy. Treadaway is deep in the throes of anguish over the loss of his sibling and captures the mental instability mixed with fear well while on this journey.
Matthew befriends a girl next door, Amy (Ros Leeming) who has her own problems but believes his story and tries to help him out. This is Leeming's debut film performance which is a surprise because not only does she master the role well, but she is pretty in a captivating way with cascades of super long light blond hair. Amy brings a dash of hope and potential for romance.
Matthew's best friend, Simon (Tom Felton) will appear familiar since we've been watching him grow up for years in the Harry Potter series as Draco Malfoy. Simon was with Matthew having a party for him when little brother, Tom went off to the playground and never came back. Simon is glad Matthew is back from treatment but can't help ribbing him for it and does not believe his stories...until Simon's own sister goes missing too. Tom Felton does an excellent job as Simon of trying to be the friend Matthew needs, but has to draw a line when he feels his friend is losing his marbles once more. Felton leaves most of Malfoy behind here but still does a bit of the sniveling panic when attacked.
Matthew's father, Jake Ryan (Greg Wise) is having a hard time dealing with the loss of one son and the mental problems of the other. He tries to put on a brave face but since he secretly blames Matthew for everything, it is difficult to remain civil. It also doesn't help that Jake is an alcoholic prone to fits of rage that made him a suspect for the disappearance. Greg Wise's performance is subtle most of the time as the quiet drunk, but fully commits to pulling back his fist when his temper gets the best of him to unleash the inner turmoil beneath.
The haunting score was a perfect fit to this film and the running themes are beautiful and cold. Again, the step-by-step accumulation of mystery ultimately came to a surprising conclusion. There are some questions remaining about the extent to the realism or supernatural qualities of the "evil among us" and how long it has been around, but for the most part this was a solid film and I would recommend checking it out!
There is a making of the film featurette has a running time of about sixteen minutes and covers talking to each of the main actors about their experience working on the film, the psychology of their characters, and their positive opinions of the director and each other. The post-production featurette is of similar length and focuses on the crew's perspective in terms of editing and how they enjoyed the type of horror story this was being psychological instead of bloody. They talk about the added crows and the sound scoring which is a haunting benefit to the film.
There is also the Anatomy of a Horror Film eight minute featurette where the cast and crew debate whether the ghost exists or is just in Matthew's imagination and how startling his appearances are in the film. It is revealed that the church set is the same as the 1970's Stephen King horror film "Salem's Lot". There is also a moment pointed out where they changed a character's eye color that was so quick, I didn't even notice it the first time. Also the actor who played Matthew insisted upon really getting buried alive for his nightmare sequences!