John Cho Horror Flick 'Searching' May Be the First Good, Scary Webcam Movie

The eerie trailer for 'Searching' stars John Cho looking for his missing daughter.

There are so many small budget found footage horror movies that use web cams as the primary point of view, and none of them have been any good. But the trailer for Searching, which stars John Cho (Star Trek) as a father frantic over his missing daughter, might finally break the curse and give us a truly good horror movie about technology. Or not. But at least it has John Cho.

On Thursday, Sony released the trailer for Searching, a new horror/thriller from director Aneesh Chaganty and produced by Timur Bekmambetov. The film stars Cho as David, a widowed father whose 15-year-old daughter, Margot (Michelle La) goes missing after a party. Hoping to find answers, David digs through Margot’s social networks, only to discover his over-achieving daughter’s secret life. The film also stars Debra Messing (Will & Grace) as a police detective who teams up with David to find Margot.

Unique to the film (or not) is that it’s told through webcam and FaceTime. That makes Searching the latest in a long subgenre of found footage horror that uses modern tech to tell stories from an unusual point of view. Unfortunately, it’s never really worked. Does anyone remember Ratter? Open Windows? The Den? There was even 2014’s Unfriended, which had a similar premise and was also produced by Bekmambetov, who seems to really be into this sort of thing.

John Cho stars in 'Searching' as a father looking for his missing daughter.

YouTube.com/Sony Pictures

Fortunately, there’s John Cho, a popular actor Hollywood just can’t deem to be popular enough. In 2016 Cho was the subject of the #StarringJohnCho hashtag, which was less concerned with Cho as an actor and more about promoting Asian-American actors in leading roles. The first film to star Cho post-hashtag was Kogonada’s Columbus, an indie drama in which Cho forms a bond with a teenager played by Hayley Lu Richardson. Seems #StarringJohnCho is still going, and this time it’s going down a much scarier path.

Searching will be released in theaters on August 3.

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