I’ve reviewed three shorts from Andrew J.D. Robinson, Making Faces, We Know You Are Home and The Becky Carmichael Fan Club. But when his feature We Are the Missing turned up in my inbox I was a bit hesitant. I’ve seen too many excellent short film directors try to make the leap to long-form and fail. And the other way around for that matter. Did he make a successful transition? Or should he contemplate a career doing segments for anthology films?
We Are the Missing is a mockumentary. If you’re not familiar with the term it’s a cousin to the found footage genre. A film that appears to be a documentary but is actually a work of fiction. Films like Resurrecting the Street Walker, Slaybor Day 7 or Fury of the Demon are good examples.
Here the topic is, as you may guess, missing people. Riley (Chantel Little) disappears one morning. Her phone is in her room, as are her shoes. Her parents Angie (Maissa Houri) and John (Mark Templin) along with her best friend Mackenzie (Willow McGregor) talk about searching for her, the loss they feel, and the kinds off assholes who accuse them of being behind it. Until the parents also disappear.
At this point, things start going from a missing person case to what seems to be something a lot stranger and more sinister happening in the town of D’Arcadia.
The film starts with talk about depression, which led me to believe this wasn’t going to be more of a drama than I was used to from the director. I should have known better. We Are the Missing starts like something from The History Channel or Lifetime before gradually descending into much darker places.
We Are the Missing was shot for $300. That’s Canadian dollars I should add, so don’t expect effects or action scenes. What you do get are plenty of convincing interviews on increasingly creepy topics. I knew he could make this work in a short but I wasn’t sure how well it would work draw out to feature-length.
It actually works very well. Given a couple of lines near the end, and my take on things, I think it’s actually a great way to handle this material. Saying why would give way to much away so you’ll have to trust me on it.
But don’t just take my word for it. We Are the Missing is available free on YouTube. Which is a great deal, considering this is considerably better than a lot of the low budget stuff on Amazon Prime. So check out the trailer and the film. And if you like what you see check out Andrew’s YouTube Channel for his short films.