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This New Thriller Takes Place Almost Entirely Inside Apps


John Cho, a panicked father and amateur e-detective.


How’s this for raising the degree of difficulty on your first feature film? Some of the tensest moments of Searching, the new thriller from South Bay–born director Aneesh Chaganty, are spent watching a Google Drive spreadsheet being filled in. That’s because the entire film, about a father (John Cho) and his frantic search for his missing daughter, takes place on a computer screen: Facebook, FaceTime, and yes, even Google Sheets.

The technocentric conceit wasn’t completely new to Chaganty, who shot a 2014 viral short on Google Glass. As for Searching, Chaganty and cowriter Sev Ohanian (Fruitvale Station) keep it from feeling tired via endless plot twists. One strange catch? The film is being released only in theaters—like, no small screens. Aug. 24


Originally published in the August issue of San Francisco 

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