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5 Disturbing Movie Disappearances!!!

Mama, the Guillermo del Toro-produced horror thriller, hits theaters on Friday, January 18th. The film deals with two missing girls who return to society after five years of living in the wilderness.

Keeping the central conceit of Mama in mind, I decided to compile a list of movies that featured interesting disappearances (and, in most cases, reappearances). Originally I wanted to make this about “real life people who disappeared and then came back.” Whoops! In real life, if you go missing you’re probably dead. So we’re going with the movie version! Always better!

Head inside for 5 Disturbing Movie Disappearances!


Carol Anne Freeling pulled one of the best disappearing acts of all time. She didn’t vanish from her home, neighborhood, city, state or country – she vanished from this dimension altogether! Of course she reappears only at the end of the film in a scene that’s fairly goopy and birth-like. By then we’re not sure how much this ghost abduction has changed her, but by the time we get to Poltergiest 2 we find out she’s pretty much going to be followed by these things for the rest of her life. Bummer.


Well this is one way to find out what happened to someone after they disappeared! I’m not going to lie and say that I’ve seen the 1988 Dutch original, but in the 1993 remake Kiefer Sutherland gets exactly what he bargained for when he agrees to Jeff Bridges’ offer. If the dude (sorry) who kidnapped your girlfriend – a girlfriend who’s been missing for a long time – offers you a chance to find out what happened, don’t take the bait.


The (unwisely named) Icarus 1 team set out to kickstart the dying Sun via nuclear explosion. They disappeared. The crew of the (even more unwisely named) Icarus 2 sets out to complete their mission. On the way, they happen upon the Icarus 1. One thing leads to another and we finally meet the sole surviving member of the Icarus 1 crew. He’s played by Mark Strong. His name is Pinbacker, but he’s basically a sun-worshipping Freddy Krueger.


We don’t really see the “before” version of Marlon Brando’s Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now but we have to imagine he was quite a bit different from the version that Martin Sheen’s Captain Willard encounters up the river. After all, they don’t just let people like that in the military! At least… nevermind.


In a move like The Thing or its prequel/remake… um The Thing… it doesn’t really matter how long someone disappears for. Once they’re gone, even if it’s only for a minute or two, you can never trust them again. When poor MacReady makes his way back in from the cold, frozen to the bone, he’s not greeted warmly. Nor can he trust his team any longer. In The Thing, if you disappear at all, it might as well be forever.



  • Nothing333

    Watch Spoorloos, the Dutch original and forget that the American version ever existed. That’s an order

    • JonathanBarkan


    • darkscarecrow

      “AMEN”. Thank God, however you took my words right out of my mouth. The Dutch version has a far, far superior ending and it’s available on Criterion. That says it all, well not all. Ironically both were done by the same director. Go figure how the original with subtitles can receive 5 skulls in my book but the remake only 1 skull!

  • joseph l. mummerth

    event horizon should have been on the list !

    • Se_7_eN

      Agreed, 100%

      It’s the “biggest space disaster in human history”!

  • Slasher_Lover23

    I would’ve mentioned Josh in Blair Witch Project.

  • darkscarecrow

    So far I have agreed with every movie on the list posted by user’s. I can’t believe that Evan has never seen the original “The Vanishing” or in it’s Dutch name Spoorlos. Every critic from here to The Nederlands agreed the American version sucked. Of course when I first watched the American version I liked it. Oh course I had never seen the original either.

    • EvanDickson

      @darkscarecrow everyone has a blind spot! It’s on my list! You wouldn’t want me to have lied and said I’d seen it. There must be a classic movie you haven’t seen 🙂

      • darkscarecrow

        Thanks Evan for replying to my comment. You are correct in that there are plenty of “classics” that I haven’t seen. As I stated I like yourself had seen the American version first. I guess because I am a fan of both actors in it. Also the first time I saw the American remake I liked it and at the time would have given it probably 3 1/2 skulls. Then by chance I was watching “Bravo’s 100 Scariest Movie Moments” and The original popped up in the list so I gave it a shot. My reaction was, to put it mildly was, “what the hell was wrong with me, why did I ruin a great experience in horror by watching the very inferior American version.”

        I love your reviews and agree with you and this site almost all of the time. When you get around to watching the original then you will know what I am talking about. In that we both will then have the same in common, in regard to this particular movie.

        Keep up the good work man..

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