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2h 4m Crime, Thriller, Serial Killer 2021

A distraught daughter searches for her widower father, after he disappears while trying to collect the reward for capturing an unknown serial killer.

Distraught and depressed over his wife’s untimely death, widower Satoshi has nearly lost everything, except for the bond he shares with his beloved daughter, Kaede. Once the successful proprietor of a small table tennis club, Satoshi’s increasingly wandering mind begins to spin as the bills compound. When Kaede receives a call that her father has shortchanged the local grocer, it’s clear that this isn’t the first time this has happened, and Kaede sheepishly apologizes. On the walk home, Satoshi casually mentions that he has crossed paths with No Name, a fugitive serial killer who has fled from Tokyo to Osaka. Exasperated, Kaede listens to what she thinks is another tall tale, as her father pontificates about how the handsome reward for his capture could get them back on their feet. But when Satoshi suddenly disappears the following day, Kaede knows this was no joke. In the search for her father, the schoolgirl becomes embroiled in an unforgiving game of cat-and-mouse that will put her most deeply held loyalties to the test. MISSING is an ambitious, perspective-switching, emotional thriller that turns the serial killer genre inside out. Director Shinzo Katayama cut his teeth working as Bong Joon-ho’s assistant director, and the young filmmaker has inherited some of the genre master’s finest traits while carving out his own path and distinctive voice. Recalling the latter’s masterpiece MEMORIES OF MURDER in tone and form, MISSING resists categorization, adeptly balancing humor, horror, pathos, and social commentary — sometimes within the same scene. MISSING has the potential to be a deep-sleeper festival hit, and heralds the arrival of a fascinating new talent in Katayama. (LORI DONNELLY)


Shinzô Katayama



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