I don’t get the opportunity to review independent films nearly as much as I would like. I love the efficiency of indie films and the inventiveness and creativity a small budget forces out of filmmakers. It often makes for very intriguing storytelling, especially if the technical side of the filmmaking is equally inventive.
A new film, Missing Child, was made on a mere half million dollar budget by director Luke Sabis, who also co-wrote the film with Michael Barbuto. The film follows Gia (Kristen Ruhlin), a young woman who never knew her parents that discovers an age progressed photo of a missing girl that looks shocking like her. Along with her partner Joe (Sabis) Gia tracks down the man looking for the missing girl. But her encounter with the man that may be her father takes a very unexpected turn as more secrets than Gia bargained for are revealed and more than the truth may be at stake.
Missing Child is a very well constructed story that starts off as one type of movie and quickly morphs into another type altogether. Sabis story is unique and I could easily see how it could have worked just as well as a mainstream Hollywood blockbuster thriller with big name stars. Sabis direction is confident as well in playing out the twists in the story visually.
Another big shining star in Missing Child is lead actress Kristen Ruhlin. Ruhlin is charismatic with an authentic screen presence and carries the bulk of the story well on her shoulders. She is instantly relatable and you genuinely care about the fate of her character, especially following the story of someone trying to uncover their own past.
Missing Child is a great example of indie filmmaking done right and a great thriller all around. Highly recommended.