“Missing Child” is a thriller by writer/director Luke Sabis and recently part of the Beyond the Beaten Path Film Festival. There is another opportunity to see this thriller at the upcoming, Dances With Films Festival on Thursday, June 5th at 2:45 pm at the Mann Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, CA.
It is the story of a young woman, Gia (Kristen Ruhlin), who is finally able to move on with her life after being accepted to design school. Gia has had a troubled past. As a child, she was shuffled through the foster care system. She was physically and sexually abused and exploited by those who “cared” for her in the past.
Today, Gia finds herself at a point, where her life is the most stable than it has ever been. She has a job and close friends. A boyfriend, Joe (Luke Sabis), who protects her and the future as she prepares to pursue a career. Until Joe discovers an age-progressed photo of a missing girl that resembles Gia on a website from a couple, looking for the daughter taken from them at the age of three.
Gia and Joe decide to see if this couple could possibly be her parents. Upon arrival at a secluded farm, Gia and Joe meet the God-fearing widower Henry (Charles Gorgano), who is at times welcoming and distrustful of the couple. When Henry’s daughter, Elizabeth, went missing, many suspected Henry of being the perpetrator. Also, Gia has not been the first person claiming to be his daughter leading to Henry’s distrust.
“Missing Child” is an independent film and you can tell by the quality of the production. It’s missing a little bit of the polish of the big studio productions. The acting by the three leads is fine but clunky at times. The lead, Kristen Ruhlin, who plays Gia does an admirable job playing an adult-abuse victim. As an adult, there is strength in her character, along with a level of fear and dissociation built over time.
The story, on the other hand, does what a thriller should do. It takes an idyllic situation and gives you the feeling that something is just not right, and all your main characters have secrets. “Missing Child” walks you down a path that slowly but surely, falls apart on you by the end. As with most stories involving adult children of abuse, trouble always seems to follow the victims.
If you have the opportunity, check out “Missing Child” as it rounds the festival circuit. The next Southern California screening will be at Dances With Films on Thursday, June 5th at 2:45 pm at the Mann Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, CA.