If you want to know why I decided to see this movie, it all started when MTV premiered their new drama show Teen Wolf on June 5, 2011. Since then, I’ve come to love and support all the actors on the show, seen their previous works, and looking forward to their new projects. When the fifth season started, two new actors were introduced to the show, Dylan Sprayberry (Man of Steel) and Mason Dye (Flowers in the Attic).
In 2014, Sprayberry and Dye were both casted in a new movie called Vanished: Left Behind – Next Generation. I knew the second I heard the news, I had to see this movie they were starring in and support them. Although the movie only took 21 days to film, it took two years to hit theaters. The exclusive premiere event hit in theaters for one night only on Wednesday, September 28th. With my birthday on the 30th, I thought this would be the perfect way to drag my friends to see this movie with me and celebrate my birthday early.
“When a billion people around the globe suddenly vanish and chaos engulfs the nation — headstrong 15-year-old Gabby is thrust into adulthood way too soon. The event forces Gabby, along with her younger sister Claire and the two teen boys vying for Gabby’s affection, Josh and Flynn – to try to figure out what has happened and how they fit into this dangerous new world.” – IMDb
- Amber Frank as Gabby
- Mason Dye as Josh
- Dylan Spraybery as Flynn
- Keely Wilson as Claire
Review (Warning: Contains some spoilers.)
As much as I love Sprayberry and Dye, I went in with the intentions of the movie possibly being horrible. I don’t know why. I just had that feeling it wouldn’t be the best movie in the world. However, it was a lot better than I expected. It started off quick and sort of rushed in the beginning, but given the situation the characters were being thrown in, it had to be fast paced. It was almost as if the audience was experiencing the adrenaline themselves.
If you’re like me, who know and follow Sprayberry and Dye’s career, you already know these two met on Teen Wolf and have been best friends since. Except, in this movie they can’t stand each other and despite trying to survive together, they hate each other. Sprayberry plays Flynn, a homeless teenager who saves and returns Claire to her older sister, Gabby. Dye plays Josh, a good friend of Gabby. Josh doesn’t like how Flynn suddenly came into their lives unexpectedly and dislikes Flynn’s feelings towards Gabby, instantly creating a love triangle between the teenagers.
It was fun to see the hostility between Sprayberry and Dye. On Teen Wolf they were friends until Dye’s character became the bad guy and tried to kill Sprayberry’s character. Furthermore, fans like myself are so used to seeing them as best friends joking around, being silly, and having fun with the pictures and videos they share on their social media. I’ve seen the way they interact as best friends, and I was just blown away by their performances in the movie. If I didn’t know Sprayberry and Dye, I would have never guessed they are best friends in real life.
However, Amber Frank, who plays Gabby, completely stole the entire movie with her amazing performance. After their mom vanished, Gabby steps into full responsibility mode and immediately does everything she can to take care and protect her younger sister, Claire. She leads the way to find their father, only to shortly die after saving his daughters, causing Gabby to take on more responsibly with the lost of both parents. It completely blows my mind that this was Frank’s first movie and having the lead role, because she was amazing. She portrayed a teenager struggling with the weight of the entire world on her shoulders after losing both her parents, trying to survive in a world of chaos, protect her little sister, and sorting out her feelings between Flynn and Josh. No 15 year old teenager should ever deal with that all at once.
Some may know Frank has Amber Montana before she changed her last name. At the end at the movie, there was a Q&A panel with the cast, and Amber explained why she changed her name. She had done roles on Nickelodeon and with her pervious last name, she was often remembered with Disney Channel’s hit show Hannah Montana, just because they shared the same last name. She was often looked at a kid actor, but she wanted to grow and do things that allowed her to expand in her craft. She thought changing her last name to Frank, which she found out meant ‘free’, would be fitting and would allow her to grow as an actor. After watching her in this movie, I can most certainly say she’s won’t be considered as a kid actor.
Keely Wilson was just absolutely adorable as Claire. I had never seen her in anything other than on an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. (SPOILER: it’s the episode where Derek Shepherd dies.) Honestly, I was a little afraid her character wouldn’t be in as much because of the huge age difference between her and the teenagers. However, she interacted well with the characters and had great chemistry with all the actors.
Overall, these four actors were great in their roles and the movie was good. I would rate it 3 ½ stars out of 5. Unfortunately, Vanished: Left Behind – Next Generation isn’t in theaters anymore, but the movie will be released on DVD soon.
Photo Credit: Official Vanished Website