John Cho uses modern tech to find his missing daughter in the trailer for Searching. Aneesh Chaganty's feature directing debut picked up a couple of major awards at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, including the Best of Next! Audience Award. Sony and Screen Gems are releasing the movie in theaters this summer and are getting the first major wave of marketing underway now, for that reason.
Written by Chaganty and Sev Ohanian (who produced Black Panther director Ryan Coogler's debut film, Fruitvale Station), Searching revolves around David Kim (Cho), a father who goes searching for his daughter Margot (Michelle La) after she inexplicably vanishes one day. However, the deeper David goes down the rabbit hole that is Margot's social media and online presence, the more he realizes he doesn't know his daughter as well as he thought he did. Debra Messing costars in the film as Rosemary Vick, the detective who helps David in his desperate search to find Margot before something terrible happens to her.
Speaking to EW from the set of The Grudge reboot (which he is currently filming), Cho describes Searching as being "incredibly emotional" for him because - among other things - it shows a "complete" Asian-American family onscreen, without their race being a central issue. EW further has the exclusive on the first Searching trailer, which you can watch in the space below.
Exclusive: Watch @JohnTheCho's frantic hunt for his missing daughter in the first @SearchingMovie trailer, also starring @DebraMessing: https://t.co/w1tnsAWdBH #SearchingMovie pic.twitter.com/FFSnqjj3zw— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) May 10, 2018
Searching is similar to Universal's 2015 horror/thriller Unfriended in that both films play out through monitors and screens within the screen. However, whereas Unfriended is a "found footage" movie that unfolds entirely through laptop screens, Searching's story is told through a variety of modern communication devices. The Searching trailer demonstrates as much and includes footage from not only Margot and David's computer laptops, but also security cameras, television screens, and other related devices.
In some ways, Searching bears a stronger resemblance to Chronicle than Unfriended in the way it uses different communication tech to tell its tale. Chaganty's film also resembles Chronicle in the sense that it's a familiar genre movie (here, a kidnapping mystery thriller) brought to life in an experimental way, in order to better reflect the world today. There's a risk Searching will come off as heavy-handed in its methods, but early reactions to the film suggest that won't be the case. Here's to hoping the movie finds an audience then, when it premieres over the (rather busy) first weekend of August.
- Searching (2018) release date: Aug 24, 2018