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The Nearly 10-Year-Old Horror Movie That Has The Whole Internet Buzzing

How many of you remember a little horror film from 2011 called Megan is Missing

It's a found footage horror movie that was written directed, co-produced, and edited by Michael Goi, who would go on to work on horror television series like American Horror Story and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. The film follows the mysterious disappearance of a teenage girl living in North Hollywood named Megan Stewart (Rachel Quinn). She and her friend Amy Herman (Amber Perkins) are your average teenage girls who like to go online and chat with boys. One day, Megan agrees to meet up with a boy she met online... and she doesn't come back.

A year ago, most casual moviegoers probably hadn't heard of the film, but that's set to change now that the movie is blowing up on TikTok. Predominantly Gen Z audiences (who were probably too young to watch the movie when it first had a limited release in theaters) are discovering the film and taking to TikTok to voice their opinions. Overwhelmingly, they're talking about how freaked out the movie made them, with one user even writing, "i didn't think it was gonna be THAT bad i'm scared to go out now." 

So what's the deal with this movie, and why should you only watch it in the middle of the day with a lot of people around you? As it turns out, this isn't the first time the film really made an impression on audiences. 

Why is Megan is Missing so controversial?

Plenty of films are scary, but few are haunting enough to warrant getting banned in an entire country. Megan is Missing was banned by the New Zealand government, with the Office of Film and Literature Classification calling the movie "objectionable." The office went on to state, "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."

Some believed Goi went too far in his depiction of sexual violence. While it's clear he wanted to highlight the real danger that exists for young people who meet up with strangers online, a lot of people, including critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, felt it didn't sit well in the context of such a sensationalized horror film. Heller-Nicholas said to The Guardian, "Goi's motive was unquestionably positive — he's a good guy who really wanted to save kids' lives — but that didn't stop Megan is Missing from being dismissed as torture porn: ultimately, it still looks and feels like an exploitation film."

The movie isn't based on a single true story, but it's inspired by real child abductions, which helps add to the overall creepiness factor. 

What are people saying about Megan is Missing on social media?

Given the film's newfound popularity, writer-director Michael Goi actually made a TikTok of his own to provide a warning to anyone interested in watching the movie. His disclaimer: "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."

However, the warning proved to be too late for some people, as they began posting their responses to the movie on various social media platforms. An array of TikTok videos have already emerged on the platform of people talking about how the movie traumatized them. It even started trending on Twitter with, users like @arwengail saying, "Megan is missing made me feel unsafe and traumatized f***." Twitter user @whoisbatrisyia wrote, "megan is missing man,, that s*** got me staring at the wall and wanting to delete all my social media accounts and never come back ever again."

The general consensus seems to be that the movie contains incredibly sensitive subject matter. The last thing you want to do is go into this kind of movie blind, or else you're in for a very shocking experience. 

Should you watch Megan is Missing?

There are some incredibly intense scenes within Megan is Missing. You need to know what you'll be able to handle before putting it on. After all, you don't need to see the movie to understand the jokes people are making about it on TikTok and Twitter. It's a creepy, traumatizing experience in which abuse is directed toward minors.

In terms of the movie's artistic merit, it appears to be rather polarizing. There are plenty of negative reviews directed at how torturous it can be to watch the film, exacerbated by the less-than-stellar production values that come with its low-budget production.

Still, other critics say there's value to the film. Zoe Rose Smith of the website Zobo With a Shotgun writes, "Megan is Missing is a distressing look at the realities behind vulnerability, the damaging effects of online grooming and the truth behind what happens to those unfortunate to become victims at the hands of pure evil."

Again, no movie is worth deterioration to your mental health. If you don't think you can handle graphic scenes of sexual abuse, then do not watch this movie. As with most things on TikTok, this movie will be popular for a few days until the kids find another film they can make memes about. If you are interested in watching it, it's available to rent on Amazon Prime, YouTube, and Google Play.