Directed by Brian Goodman, ‘Last Seen Alive’ is an action thriller starring Gerard Butler and Jaimie Alexander. It follows Will Spann, whose wife Lisa disappears at a gas station as they drive to her parents’ house. To add to his worries, he becomes the prime suspect in his disappearance, with everyone from the police to the townspeople doubting his motives.
Now Will must prove his innocence and find Lisa before the authorities close in on him, and he loses her forever. Now, if you enjoy this genre of mystery thrillers and want to explore the genre further, we have the perfect list of recommendations for you. You can watch most of these movies like Last Seen Alive on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
Image credits: Elizabeth Kitchens/Sony Pictures
Marking director Aneesh Chaganty’s feature film debut, Searching is a mystery thriller that follows David Kim, a single father whose 16-year-old daughter, Margot, disappears from her school. When the police find no immediate leads, he searches his laptop for clues, but discovers the authorities’ possible involvement in his disappearance.
Although shifting the focus from a missing spouse to a daughter, the film falls into the same category of missing person thrillers with some surprising twists. Additionally, David’s desperation to find Margot mirrors Will’s attempts to search for Lisa, thus connecting the two films.
6. The Girl on the Train (2016)
Image credit: Barry Wetcher/Universal
‘The Girl on the Train’ follows Rachel, who witnesses a strange incident in a couple’s garden during her daily train journey. Believing the woman, Megan, is missing, she turns herself in to the police, only to find herself embroiled in the couple’s complicated relationship. Adapted from the eponymous debut novel by Paula Hawkins, the film is a psychological thriller directed by Tate Taylor.
While it explores the missing woman trope a bit differently than Brian Goodman’s directing, it’s similar in portraying the protagonist who persistently tries to back up his claims and point the authorities at the culprit.
5. Gone Baby Gone (2007)
Based on Dennis Lehane’s 1998 novel of the same name, ‘Gone Baby Gone’ is a crime thriller helmed by rookie director Ben Affleck. Focusing once again on the disappearance of a young person, it follows Patrick Kenzie, a private detective, who tries to help the police find the trace of a missing four-year-old girl.
Although Police Inspector Nick Poole is adamant Patrick’s attempts are futile, Patrick discovers that the real culprit may be closer than he thinks. ‘Gone Baby Gone’ and ‘Last Seen Alive’ both have protagonists trying to prove police suspicions wrong and find completely unexpected people responsible, which brings them closer together.
4. Gone Girl (2014)
Image Credit: Merrick Morton/20th Century Fox
‘Gone Girl’ is a psychological thriller film directed by David Fincher, adapted from the novel of the same name by Gillian Flynn. Like Will, Nick Dunne becomes the main accused when his wife, Amy, mysteriously disappears. However, she soon returns and reveals her elaborate plans to ensnare him in order to satisfy his motives for revenge.
While Will’s wife has nothing to do with Amy, he and Nick go through the same agony of being framed for a crime they didn’t commit. Additionally, they share strained relationships with their missing wives, cementing police suspicions of them.
3. Fractured (2019)
Image Credit: Eric Zachanowich/Netflix
Brad Anderson’s psychological thriller ‘Fractured’ centers on Ray, whose wife and daughter suddenly disappear from the hospital on a cross-country trip. Sensing that the hospital staff are hiding the truth, he embarks on an exciting mission to find his family and report the wrongdoers to the police.
Ray and Will suspect foul play in the disappearance of their loved ones, and so they go against the authorities to prove their theories and catch the culprit. However, each man reveals certain secrets that turn their situations around. That’s not all, a gas station is a crucial location in both films.
2. Breakdown (1997)
In the movie ‘Breakdown’, Kurt Russell plays Jeff Taylor, who is stranded in the desert with his wife, Amy. When she disappears after a trucker offers to help, he sets out to find out what happened to her. On top of that, the latter’s refusal to recognize Amy makes Jeff’s situation worse, and he soon finds himself trapped among criminals with sinister motives.
Thus, the distraught husband must race against time to find his wife and save her from a fatal end. Jeff’s helplessness upon discovering Amy’s disappearance mirrors Will’s frenzy in ‘Last Seen Alive,’ and the measures he takes to root out those responsible as the clock ticks add to the resemblance between the latter and directed by Jonathan Mostow.
1. Frantic (1988)
The mystery thriller ‘Frantic’ by acclaimed author Roman Polanski follows Dr. Richard Walker, whose wife Sondra disappears from their hotel room in Paris. Stranded in a foreign town with limited resources, he desperately searches for it and infiltrates criminal networks to unmask the truth.
The wives of Dr. Walker and Will disappear under mysterious circumstances, and they must escape the suspicions of the police before time is running out. All of this, coupled with their entry into the criminal underworld to get answers, accentuates the commonalities and makes ‘Frantic’ the top of this list.