Missing 411: The Hunted
Written by Michael DeGrazier, David Paulides
Directed by Michael DeGrazier
2019 - The Orchard
Cast: David Paulides, Alan Ronnenberg. Bruce Maccabee.
Eclectic Rating: stars
Many people are intrigued by tales of folks who unfortunately go missing in some unexplained way. Humans love mysteries. Missing 411: The Hunted initially takes us through some very strange missing persons cases, most with no resolution, and a few with recovered bodies but no explanation as to how the victim died.
Enticing but ultimately a let down, Missing 411:The Hunted had me at "Missing..." but loses any credibility by proposing a connection to Bigfoot and other paranormal bunk. He includes a segment with Ron Morehead and his "Sierra Sounds" recordings from way the hell back in NINETEEN SEVENTY-ONE, followed by a weird story of an invisible "cellophane blob" climbing in the trees that allegedly distorted the background like the creature in the Predator movies.
Of course everyone is an expert. You have Ron's pal Scott Nelson, a retired Navy vet who is somehow an expert, and the only one, of unknown hominid linguistics who stands behind his conclusion that Bigfoot communicate and sound like a couple of guys doing Samurai impressions.
Bruce Maccabee, a Navy vet and former member of NICAP (National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena), and—okay, he is an expert of sorts with a Ph.D. in Physics—who's wife saw the invisible blob in the woods. She allegedly took a picture with her cell phone, which shows some strange aberations and is notably different in size than the other images on the phone that were taken the same day.
Bruce can't explain why the image size is different, stating that you'd have to get in there and rewire the phone, but of course this is not true. It could be a glitch Bruce, happens all the time. Mostly where human thinking is concerned. But let's not overlook the possibility that this photo may not even have originated on the phone. It could have been downloaded via an email or MMS. Or it could be a stupid hoax. People make stuff up all the time.
But the documentary is supposed to be about missing people, so why does the filmmaker bring up Bigfoot and other weird stuff? Apparently Paulides is trying to tie in unexplained disappearances with alleged paranormal or cryptozoological activity like Bigfoot, yet he doesn't even come out and say that, he just plops the nonsense at the end. These things have absolutely no business in a serious documentary about missing persons, and so: this is not a serious documentary about missing persons.
The first hour or so of the documentary is interesting enough and well produced, with cases presented that seem to defy explanation. Friends, family, law enforcement officers and search personnel are interviewed, and their words are dubbed over great shots of wilderness landscapes and the rugged terrain where these disappearances occurred.
But mysteries remain mysteries because no on asks enough of the right questions. In this documentary we are presented with cases and interviewees are asked where anything may have been found related to the missing person, but Paulides never asks if the missing person was under any kind of stress, suffered depression or had recently acted in any way different than usual. It is assumed that everything was fine and on yet another wonderful day in the life of this unassuming person they just vanished. Poof.
These are mysteries because people looking for answers are missing something. They are unsolved, and therefore unexplained, because evidence has not been found to connect the missing person with an event that led to their disappearance.
Sure, sometimes the circumstances are baffling but cases of missing people abound and there are many potential explanations. Missing 411: The Hunted picks out a few cases that are strange and unsolved, but cheapens the memory of the missing by injecting Bigfoot and paranormal nonsense.
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Last Update: 17 Apr, 2021