This Month’s Must-See Movie: "Gone Girl "

First of all, let me start this review by saying that I have a horrible case of major guilt over the fact that I did not read "Gone Girlbefore I saw the movie. Normally, I’m happily the one nitpicking the differences between a book and its film adaptation or playfully judging my friends for not having read the book first. Although I am guilty of missing out on the much buzzed about Gillian Flynn novel, I can at least provide a review based purely on my reaction to its cinematic depiction.

Having the novel on my mental must-read list and knowing that it was a mystery of sorts, I never sought out too much plot information because I wanted to avoid spoilers. Therefore, I went into the movie having no clue as to what was going to happen, which is a pretty exciting feeling.

I’ll give you a rough sketch of the plot; but don’t worry, I won’t ruin it! It is the morning of July 5, Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. There is a slight problem, however. Amy is nowhere to be found (hence the title!). Nick is confused and reports the situation to the police. From here, we are often transported into flashback sequences in order to learn about Nick and Amy’s back story: how they met, how they fell in love and the current status of their relationship.

Longtime New Yorkers, Nick and Amy had left the big city to care for his ailing mother and relocated to his small hometown in Missouri. Their gorgeous suburban home seems to be a sign of a thriving marriage, but appearances can be deceiving. The story picks up speed when the town casts their suspicions about Amy’s disappearance upon Nick, who adamantly insists that he has nothing to do with her sudden absence. I want to be careful not to go any further into the details of the plot, so I will stop here! Trust me, you’ll want to enjoy the surprises.

Rosamund Pike gives a masterful and haunting performance as Amy Dunne. Having only known her as the sweet and beautiful Jane Bennet from 2005’s "Pride and Prejudice," I was quite floored by her acting. Ben Affleck gives a solid performance as Nick Dunne, a man who has made his share of mistakes, but repeatedly insists that murder is not among them.

Yet, the movie constantly leaves us wondering who we can really trust, which is one of my favorite things about it. Neil Patrick Harris is captivating as well in his relatively small but pivotal role as Desi Collings. A for all of you "How I Met Your Mother" fans, his scenes will definitely shock you! Gone Girl is a true psychological thriller, and I also saw it as a commentary on marriage and the sensationalized nature of modern media coverage.

Director David Fincher ("The Social Network," "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo") does an incredible job of building suspense, and the intensely ominous soundtrack kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the most climactic scenes. I’ve always believed that a sign of a truly good movie is when it makes you think long after you have walked out of the theater—when it really sticks with you.

A lot of movies are forgettable and mindless, but "Gone Girl" definitely doesn’t fall into this category. If you’re looking for a break from the usual October horror movies or simple romances, I highly recommend "Gone Girl." It is scary in ways that aren’t as obvious as a man running after you with a chain saw or a possessed doll terrorizing you. The ending particularly fascinated me—I’d love to hear other people’s reactions and interpretations after they have seen it.

Bottom line: take a midterm study break, and head to the movies! Check out the trailer here.