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The Forgotten Gerard Butler Mystery Thriller You Can Stream On Amazon

In these uncertain times, it can be comforting to remember the good old days, back when Daniel Craig was still James Bond, a soda pop cost a dollar, and Gerard Butler starred in movies. And so we turn to the 2018 psychological thriller The Vanishing, a film still remembered today as the second or third most famous motion picture revolving around a couple of guys going bonkers in a lighthouse of the last three years.

Not to be confused with 1993's The Vanishing, 2020's Vanished, or the critically acclaimed 1998 woodworking docuseries The Varnishing, The Vanishing comes courtesy of director Kristoffer Nyholm, best known 'round these parts as the guy who helmed the decidedly unsettling first four episodes of FX and Tom Hardy's Taboo. It all takes place in the Flannan Isles, the same spot that inspired the events of The Lighthouse with its way of making weathered lighthouse keepers disappear without a trace. Here, audiences are introduced to a trio of such salty dogs, getting set to begin their six-week stay working in seclusion at an atmospheric lighthouse. As is so often the case, they find their lives thrown into disarray by the discovery of a big old treasure chest full of gold.

The Vanishing takes audiences on a dark ride

What's that? You like powerhouse performances from critically acclaimed actors? Turn on The Vanishing, currently available to stream with an Amazon Prime membership, and you'll get a heaping double scoop. On the one hand, there's Gerard Butler, star of the blockbuster Noun Has Fallen franchise. Acting opposite Butler is Peter Mullan, aka the hauntingly intense James Delos from HBO's Westworld, currently looking toward another high-profile career boost in the form of Amazon's upcoming Lord of the Rings series. Alongside Emma's Connor Swindells, they find themselves stuck in a vicious implied loop of greed and distrust, fueled by that same destructive love of gold that we were all warned about by the Muppet Treasure Island soundtrack some 25 years ago.

The Vanishing lived up to its name at the box office, with BoxOfficeMojo reporting a total take of $1.2 million, or roughly the same amount of money that Marvel Studios spends on catering for Rocket's racoon stand-in. Still, the film made some waves critically, earning an 85% critic approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics praised the performances, direction, and writing, calling it an "effective thriller" and paying special attention to Butler's thoughtful turn as lighthouse keeper James.