Disappearance at Clifton Hill parents guide

Disappearance at Clifton Hill Parent Guide

The dark side of the falls...

Overall C+

A young woman returns to Niagara Falls after her mother's death only to get caught up in a deadly murder mystery from 25 years ago.

Release date February 28, 2020

Violence C+
Sexual Content B-
Profanity D
Substance Use C

Why is Disappearance at Clifton Hill rated Not Rated? The MPAA rated Disappearance at Clifton Hill Not Rated

Run Time: 100 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Abby (Tuppence Middleton) grew up in Niagara Falls, but she hasn’t been back in years. Following her mother’s death, she comes back to sort out the motel her mother owned in the Clifton Hill entertainment district, which is now being sold to a local company. But being back in Niagara brings back memories, and Abby soon finds herself trying to solve a 25-year-old crime that no one else knows even happened.

This is one of those films whose content grades, although technically correct, sound worse than the reality. While there is some violent activity in the plot, there is little explicit or frightening content. Given that this is a mystery based around the alleged murder of a child, I had expected more unsettling content but most crime shows on TV contain more violence, sexual content and drug use than I saw in this movie. The only real standout here from prime-time crime TV is the profanity, which is less than you’ll find in other comparable movies, so you’re still coming out ahead.

The score stood out to me in a positive way, sort of an unsettling avant-garde modern jazz style that underscores the odd nature of the characters. It reminds me a little of the score for Motherless Brooklyn, which I think just reveals my underlying affection for saxophones. Another positive is Tuppence Middleton’s performance as Abby. I can’t say too much about it without spoiling parts of the plot, but she’s charming and compelling. It’s a good thing she is because otherwise the script doesn’t have quite enough pizazz to keep you involved.

This production has a very definite style, which certainly isn’t for everyone. It seems hazy and misty, cut through with neon and the sharp crackle of VHS tape. Sound weird? It is, a little, but weird in a way that makes it distinctive. A strong style like this makes what an otherwise routine psychological thriller stand out from the crowd.

If you’re looking for tense thrillers or puzzling mysteries, you can do better. Disappearance at Clifton Hill is a little vague at times, a little sloppy, but if you like its aesthetic (which I very much do), it’s still a good time. If nothing else, the performance by Tuppence Middleton is varied and interesting from beginning to end and should be enough to make the short runtime pass quickly enough. It isn’t a great tourism ad for the Niagara region, but it’s a good time nonetheless.

Directed by Albert Shin. Starring Tuppence Middleton, Hannah Gross, Marie-Josée Croze. Running time: 100 minutes. Theatrical release February 28, 2020. Updated

Disappearance at Clifton Hill
Rating & Content Info

Why is Disappearance at Clifton Hill rated Not Rated? Disappearance at Clifton Hill is rated Not Rated by the MPAA

Violence: An individual is shown wearing a bloodstained bandage. A person is forced into a car. A dead fish is shown. There are pictures of open wounds from animal attacks. An individual is tazed. There are brief descriptions of gore with no on-screen depictions.
Sexual Content: Two individuals are shown kissing passionately and undressing, although they never progress past pants and a shirt. There are a few very vague and non-specific allusions to child sex abuse.
Profanity: There are 13 uses of extreme profanity and 9 uses of scatological terms. There are also infrequent terms of deity and mild profanities.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Individuals are shown drinking beer in a bar and wine with dinner.

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