Gone isn't incompetent, but it's also not necessarily that ambitious. Basically, the film lies in the standard woman-in-peril territory, although it's a little more in the drama/mystery mold than a straight-up thriller. Amanda Seyfried stars as a former kidnapping victim who unwaveringly believes her still-on-the-loose abductor is back after her sister also goes missing. The film doesn't waste any time in getting Seyfried's character Jill out on the streets, into the police station, and everywhere in between as she plays amateur detective with her sibling's life on the line. Of course, it wouldn't be the movie it is if anyone believed her, so Jill heads out on her own, dealing with one red herring after another until she comes face-to-face with the person who destroyed her own life and holds the key to her sister's survival.
The most curious thing about Gone is the lengths that Brazilian filmmaker Heitor Dhalia and screenwriter Allison Burnett go to in order to lead the viewer to this or that conclusion before nearly abandoning the whodunit angle at the end. Seyfried is given the thankless job of being hysterical for most of the film, with the rest of the cast either showing up to be creepy (Wes Bentley, Joel David Moore) or barely registering as a character (Jennifer Carpenter). Though the star's mostly female audience might be drawn to the picture, there's just not enough blood pumping through the movie's veins to satisfy anyone looking for a real thriller -- unless you count the one obligatory black-cat scare or the finale, which delivers a few minutes of female-empowered revenge. So maybe if you walked in expecting to be mildly disappointed, you wouldn't be disappointed. No, you'd probably still feel a little ripped off.