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New Thriller ‘Searching’ Takes On the Challenge to Tell a Gripping Story Entirely Through a Computer Screen

John Cho plays a father desperately ‘Searching’ for his missing daughter in the innovative upcoming thriller.

Cinema loves to play with perspective when it comes to telling stories in a unique and poignant fashion. So, following years of ‘found footage’-style movies pouring in theaters (The Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield, Paranormal Activity, Chronicle…), mostly to scare the hell out of us, and because people just don’t walk around with video cameras anymore (#Millennials), the time has come for some fresh, more modern concepts.

In this respect, Aneesh Chaganty’s directorial debut, Searching, follows family man David Kim (Cho) investigating the disappearance of his 16-year-old daughter, Margot (Michelle La), solely through a computer screen.

Check out the trailer below to discover what the film, in theaters August 3rd, looks like.


Google, Skype, FaceTime, Facebook, Excel spreadsheets,… How did so few filmmakers realized before that a computer had all the tools necessary to narrate a day in the life of anyone. After all, what we do on our laptops says a lot about ourselves – especially things we would rather keep private… That’s what John Cho’s character rapidly discovers in Searching, a movie that will likely cause many parents to check their kid’s MacBook more often than they should.

Although a plot revolving around someone’s disappearance unfolding via a digital device isn’t new (Modern Family‘s episode Connection Lost actually had a very similar storyline in which Claire attempts to find her daughter Haley from her computer after they had a big fight), it is the first time it is adapted into a thriller. A risky venture that could make or break the new medium, as the not-so-good reception of 2014 horror film Unfriended, in which a group of young people get tormented by a murderous entity via their laptops, demonstrated.

But some reviews from the Sundance premiere of Searching back in January (at the time, the title was simply called Search) already offer a first impression of how well-executed and remarkable the suspense movie, also starring Debra Messing, truly is:

“The massively clever Search draws significant suspense from two modern anxieties: we’re spending too much time on our devices, and parents don’t really know what their kids are up to,” reads Screendaily‘s review, while another from The Hollywood Reporter praised the movie for succeeding in being both original and skillfully achieved, “As much as any film at the festival, Search delivers dramatic satisfactions in addition to technical sophistication.”