I’m a sucker for horror films. I give pretty much all of them a chance (I’m also a teeny-bopper at heart, and I keep up with all the teen/YA films and books). So when I saw that Elsewhere not only starred a Twilight bit player, but also not one, but two Lost actors, I jumped at the chance to review it, despite its kiss-of-death, independent direct-to-DVD release.
Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised. From the very beginning, Elsewhere sets an ominous and moody tone, and delivers quite a punch in the first few minutes. The plot is teen-centric and poses the question: If a wild child rebel goes missing and no one’s there to care, does she ever get found?
Said wild child, Jillian, is played deftly by Tania Raymonde (Alex of Lost), a girl who likes to push people’s buttons and boundaries, and lives her life dangling on the edge. Because her hometown, Goshen, Indiana, doesn’t offer enough excitement, Jillian gets her kicks by posting nearly-naked pictures of herself on an Internet dating site (aptly described as “a grocery store for child molesters” by the film’s writers) and meeting various lecherous men.
Jillian’s best friend, Sarah, played by Anna Kendrick (who plays a peripheral role in Twilight), is Jillian’s polar opposite (rich to Jillian’s poor, conservative to Jillian’s wild), yet they are best friends and, of course, coworkers.
One day Jillian tells Sarah she wants to run away and produces the suitcase to prove it, then says she’s going on a “date” she arranged with one of her online suitors. After that, Jillian disappears, and the only thing she leaves behind is the strange cell phone video she sends to Sarah, who turns out to be the only one who seems to care that Jillian is missing. The more Sarah searches for Jillian, the more she gets dragged into the seedy underbelly of a town (and friend) she thought she knew.