A one-eyed boy, a kidnapping witnessed, a girl with questions, and decades chased by a vague memory, Disappearance At Clifton Hill, a 2019 movie, has it all, the perfect blend of suspense and mystery to keep the audience hooked and eyed glued for the whodunnit moment.
The movie follows the story of Abby, who in her childhood had seen a kidnapping of a one-eyed boy and now is haunted by the resulting questions. Years later, when she returns to her hometown at Clifton Hill, she vows to find answers.
The movie has a commendable cast to carry out the plot.
It stars Tuppence Middleton as Abby (grown-up version) the key character, Hannah Gross as Laure, the elder sister of Abby, Marie-Josée Croze as Ms Moulin, a magician along with her husband and the mother of the one-eyed boy. Eric Johann Johnson as Charlie Lake, the son of the wealthy Lake family and a suspect in the boy going missing. David Paul Cronenberg as Walter, a local historian and podcaster, and Elizabeth Saunders as Bev Mole, a worker with the Magnificent Moulins as key characters of the movie. Andy McQueen as Singh, Maxwell McCabe-Lokos as Gerry, Dan Lett and Noah Reid are in supporting roles.
Abby had grown up in tourist disctrict of Clifton Hill, Niagara Falls, Ontario where her mother owned an Inn called Rainbow Inn. As a girl of seven, Abby had gone picnicking with her family in the nearby woods where she wandered about alone when she saw a teen boy with a gouged eye being taken away by two people, a woman and a man into a vehicle. The one eyed boy as she called him had told her to hush and not speak of this to anyone.
She went back to the picnic spot, did not tell her parents but told her elder sister,Laure later about it who did not believe her as she was a compulsive liar.
However this incident had an indelible impact on her mind and this memory troubled her through the decades.
In the present at the age of 32, she has returned to her hometown on her mother’s death and the memory though vague now still troubles her. She gets a little assistance from a local historian , Walter who like herself doesn’t believe that the boy died by suicide. He believed that Charlie Lake, of the influential family of the area was behind the missing boy.
Ferreting information here and there, she comes to know that the missing boy was Alex Moulin, son of the magician duo, The magnificent Moulins and the people she saw taking him were Bev Mole and Gerry , assistants to them. She also cam eto know about the accident with the tiger act that had injured the boy.
In quest to find the answers she lured Bev Mole to her Inn where she comes to know Everything.
Charlie however claims innocence and that he saved Alex rather than killing him. The case gets vast media attention.
THE TWIST IN THE TALE
It is only in the last scene that Abby on returning to work in the Inn, meets a man who has one eye and is of the same age as Alex would have been if he would have survived.
He tells her he lived in Vancouver and has come back to tell that Charlie is innocent.This is how the mystery that had haunted Abby since childhood.
The open ending hereby leaves the viewers with the freedom to contemplate about the semantics and work their imagination to sort out the specifics.
WHERE TO WATCH THE MOVIE?
Originally premiered at The Toronto International Film Festival back in 2019 , the movie is now available on Netflix and is currently topping the charts as a viewers’ favourite on the platform.