The Screenlife Phenomenon: How Missing Captivates Audiences Worldwide

Missing: Everything in this Movie Happens on a Screen

In today’s era of social media and ubiquitous internet access, our obsession with screens is undeniable. As you’re currently engrossed in this text, contemplating whether it’s worth your time, let’s acknowledge that the very screen before you can also serve as a captivating stage for a cinematic masterpiece like Missing:

Missing belongs to a distinct film genre that remains rare despite its remarkable financial success – the screenlife thriller. These films uniquely unfold their narrative solely through the lens of a computer, tablet, or smartphone screen. This innovative visual storytelling approach makes screenlife movies the quintessential choice for Gen Z audiences, as they aptly mirror the profound influence of the internet and electronic devices. Although Screenlife is not a genre itself, but rather a storytelling device, it finds strong connections with the realms of horror and thriller, as these films redefine how the internet age, with all its possibilities and dangers, translates onto the silver screen.

Screenlife movies delve into the disparity between our digital personas and our true selves in the offline world. They ingeniously transform familiar online landscapes like TikTok, Instagram, or Google Mail into vibrant canvases for storytelling. With Missing, we witness the most nuanced depiction of online life yet, highlighting the profound disconnect between a daughter and her missing mother, both of whom present themselves differently in the digital realm. June, tasked with picking up her mother and her new boyfriend Kevin from the airport, is left bewildered when they fail to appear. Frustrated by the authorities’ lack of progress, June embarks on her own investigation. She strongly believes that by exploring Google Maps, Facebook Messages, and her mother’s search history, she’ll uncover vital clues. Along her journey, June discovers that Kevin is not the kind-hearted person he pretended to be, but rather a deceitful individual with a criminal record, preying on unsuspecting women for their money.


With an estimated budget of $7 million, Missing stands as the most expensive screenlife movie to date. Despite this significant investment, it has proven to be yet another financial triumph, accumulating over $30 million worldwide and still counting. In 2014, Unfriended emerged as the first popular screenlife movie, crafted on a budget of around $1 million, yet managing to amass an impressive $64 million at the box office. Then, in 2018, Searching surpassed expectations, reaping over $75 million while being created with a modest budget of just $700,000. It’s fascinating how this unconventional filmmaking style resonates with audiences, defying the limitations it inherently possesses. The true genius of the screenlife format emerges precisely from its resourcefulness.

Missing undoubtedly explores the realm of small screens, but its true splendor is best experienced on the grandest screen of them all—your beloved cinema. However, try not to dwell too much on how countless ways you could have cracked the case, armed with the latest technological advancements at your fingertips.