Mark Whitman answers a riddle in an online dating ad, and receives a GPS coordinate and a note saying “Come Find Me” in return.
He and his best friend grab their video camera and go in search of this woman. And the further down the rabbit hole they get, the more
they begin to wonder if she’s alive or dead…
We in the world of horror are, by now, well-versed in cinema verite as a style of filmmaking. Or, as the kids call it, “Blair Witch” style (like they created it or something). This style of filmmaking became popular among moviemakers with no money because it was easy to shoot. Considering Blair Witch was made for around 60k and they made back that money in boat loads of cash. Regardless of its origins or successes most moviegoers are fed up with this style of filmmaking. These days there are few exceptions to the rule that cinema verite is a good directorial choice. In Search Of… very well may be that exception.
The story of In Search Of… revolves around what we all partake in which is the search for love and around the use of the internet to find it. So if you like you can use this film as a cautionary tale for all would-be Internet dates! The premise is simple. Mark meets a girl online by answering a riddle. That’s right – a riddle. The girl’s post was intriguing enough (as it only contained the riddle) that he bit and answered it correctly. His friend Matt decides it would be a GREAT time to whip out the video camera to tag along to film the trip and meeting for prosperity… as a documentary. Of course nothing is ever that simple.
Once Mark solves the riddle he is sent an e-mail containing GPS coordinates and a simple, “come find me” message. Mark must have been an Apple Maps beta tester because what follows is not a night at the movies, romantic dinner, and a stop at a malt shoppe for ice cream and pop. If it was then there wouldn’t be much of a movie. Mark and would-be filmmaker friend Matt go on the hunt for the girl as they continue to follow the clues left behind like bread crumbs. File this away in your “don’t be stupid” filing cabinet in your brain… do NOT follow random GPS coordinates. Women are NOT prizes in your geocaching exploits.
In Search Of… uses the generic found footage setup but luckily the premise is solid and unique enough that you sit up and pay attention to it. The acting is very solid and it feels real, unforced, and off the cuff. Unlike films like the Blair Witch Project, In Search Of… doesn’t always want to make you vomit with shaky camera movements. This is a plus… obviously.
Despite all of the typical stuff you would expect from a “found footage” or “documentary” type movie the hook for In Search Of… is good enough to get you interested in the complete story and not just the climax. Then add to that the goodness in the friendship of the two characters and you have something that feels real. Their interaction is warm and friendly and endearing enough to keep you watching despite the inherent slow pace of the movie which, by the way, has its purpose.
As we progress through the story we learn of a great, old-fashioned ghost story which Mark tells us all about while driving in a certain section of the road. The story he tells is one that mirrors an actual experience I had and most likely mirrors one you have heard of yourself – that creates an immediate connection. My story involves Jesus while his involves the Gorton’s fisherman. With all of the good things in this movie (and there are a ton) there are a few plot holes and story issues but they are easily overlooked once the action kicks into overdrive. The cast creates real fear and an unnerving feeling uselessness and you find yourself unable to turn away.
There are plenty of twists to make it exciting. In Search Of… is a very solid film that takes an old style of filmmaking and an old story and makes if watchable and enjoyable again. I definitely recommend a screening of it and I give it 5 out of 5 bloody t-shirts. You can actually order it online for a whopping $.99 and it is worth every stinking penny.
In Search Of… (2012)