Eagle-eyed viewers beware. You might accidentally spoil the ending of this year’s innovative thriller Searching by simply paying too close attention to one of the film’s minor details. As pointed out by Slashfilm, a summary of the film’s ending appears briefly on screen while John Cho’s character checks his email, though it still leaves at least one major twist shrouded in mystery.
Spoilers ahead for the end of Searching, obviously.
In a cool twist on the missing persons thriller, all of the action in Searching takes place on computer and phone screens, in real time. John Cho’s character David Kim uses video chat, GPS mapping, and social media feeds to find digital clues about his missing daughter’s whereabouts. But, as a behind the scenes feature detailing the film’s easter eggs shows, he would have known exactly what happened to his daughter if he had just looked at an email from Sev Ohanian, the film’s screenwriter.
The email from Ohanian reads, “It’s obvious what happened. Your daughter was catfished by this Fish_N_Chips character—who is no doubt the son of…” If David had bothered to open the email he would discovered the film’s biggest twist—that this nefarious character is the son of Detective Vick (Debra Messing), the woman in charge of his daughter’s case. Of course, only the most attentive viewers would have spotted this email in the first place, and even then they would have had to put together the Vick connection themselves. Clearly, Ohanian and director Aneesh Chaganty didn’t want to give everything away, but it’s still pretty bold to hide that big of a spoiler in plain sight. Though, given the film’s digital-age gimmick, we should have known it was a case of catfishing all along.
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