Megan Is Missing was banned when it was released in 2011 (Picture: Trio Pictures, YouTube)
TikTok users are scaring themselves to sleep over horror movie Megan Is Missing, which is seeing a resurgence almost 10 years after its release.
The controversial indie film, originally released in 2011, stars relatively unknown actresses Rachel Quinn and Amber Perkins and was directed by Michael Goi.
Somehow, users have rediscovered the horror and it’s gathered momentum on TikTok thanks to users sharing their reactions after watching for the first time. Many have described it as ‘traumatising’, some have been scared to leave the house and others are even considering deleting their social media accounts due to the harrowing story.
At the time of its release, Megan Is Missing was deemed so inappropriate that it was banned in New Zealand and several other countries.
So what’s the hype about?
What is Megan Is Missing about (spoiler-free)?
It might seem as though Megan Is Missing was following the found footage trend sparked by Paranormal Activity released two years prior. However Goi’s project was perhaps before its time as he shot the film in 2006 and was only released in 2011 after finding a distribution deal.
Megan Is Missing follows best friends Megan Stewart (Quinn) and Amy Herman (Perkins) who are both 14 and live in North Hollywood, California.
When Megan disappears after meeting a boy she had been talking to online, Amy descends down a dangerous path to find her.
Viewers have found the fictional story too close to home thanks to the found footage style of filming and all too common story of a young girl falling victim to the dangers of the internet and social media.
It was marketed as ‘based on a true story’ – yes, that old Hollywood trick we’ve fallen for before – but it’s entirely fictional.
Why was Megan Is Missing banned?
Goi’s pride and joy was deemed too inappropriate for release in New Zealand and officially banned.
The country’s Office of Film and Literature Classification described it as ‘objectionable’ in their ruling.
They continued: ‘The feature depicts sexual violence and sexual conduct involving young people to such an extent and degree, and in such a manner, that the availability of the publication is likely to be injurious to the public good.’
Quinn and Perkins’ acting skills were heavily slated by critics at the time, while Goi was slammed for the sexualisation of their young characters and for the depiction of sexual violence.
In her book, Found Footage Horror Films: Fear and the Appearance of Reality, film scholar Alexandra Heller-Nicholas said the movie had been described as ‘torture porn’. However she did note that Goi had good intentions with the messaging of ‘saving kids’ lives’.
What has Michael Goi said about Megan Is Missing?
As the film went viral, Goi addressed the renewed interest in his film on TikTok.
The director explained in a video: ‘I got a text from Amber Perkins, the lead actress in my movie, that it’s exploding on TikTok at the moment.
‘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 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.’
Goi continued: ‘Apologies to those who are already posting about how the movie is already freaked them out. Fair warning to those of you who are still contemplating watching the film.’
Since 2011, Goi has worked on a range of TV shows and films such as American Horror Story and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
Where can I watch Megan Is Missing?
At the moment, Megan isn’t being offered as part of subscription services such as Netflix but it is available to rent from Amazon Prime, YouTube and Google Play.
Victim Support offers support to survivors of rape and sexual abuse. You can contact them on 0333 300 6389.