If Alfred Hitchcock were still making films today, what would they be like? An auteur that manipulated the fears of men and society like a puppetmaster, showcasing flawed, broken people in unnerving and relentlessly thrilling scenarios. Now imagine that element set in modern society, especially since we live in an age where our every action and thought becomes immortal and criticized through the internet and social media, for better and worse. We see so many more sides to people through a computer screen, sides that we may not want to see. At some point, they may not even seem like the same person.
Hitchcock would have had a fear field day if he ever got a Twitter account.
This is what makes “Searching” such a moving yet thrilling experience that should not be missed. It delves into the depths of social media and the questionable life choices we make on there; how what we say or do on these sites shows shades that we’d rather forget, much less acknowledge.
While I would first describe “Searching” as if “Gone Girl” was done in the style of “Unfriended” – a thriller about a missing girl shown entirely from the perspective of her father’s (John Cho) computer screen – it has more in common with “Rear Window” in its themes of voyeurism and fixed perspective. Yet the film is surprisingly poignant about how our limited point-of-view through social media can skew and cloud our judgment. Yet put in a similar situation, we all would act like the father.
But despite these prevailing themes, “Searching” is still an effective and unique thriller, going through a roller coaster of emotions and using its computer screen point-of-view to the fullest. This film exemplifies “less is more” without ever sacrificing the scope of this heart-wrenching story about timely fears.
Final Grade: A