Is Megan Is Missing real and what is the 'photo number 1' warning?

ANOTHER day, another TikTok craze, and this time people are filming themselves watching horror flick Megan Is Missing.

But many fans have been left wondering if the terrifying movie is real.

Is Megan Is Missing real?

Megan Is Missing is hauntingly similar to real-life child abduction cases – but it is not based on a true story.

The use of "found footage" makes the movie feel realistic.

Fortunately, the characters are played by actors, and the film doesn't follow Megan's abduction in real-time.

However, the way the movie has been made, creates an illusion that the film is true-to-life. 

What is the 'photo number 1' warning?

After the film started going viral on TikTok, the director of the movie took the unusual step of issuing a message, where he explained about the "photo number 1 warning".

Posting his own video on TikTok, Michael Goi said: "I didn't get to give you the customary warnings that I used to give people before they watched Megan Is Missing.

"They are: do not watch the movie in the middle of the night, do not watch the movie alone, and if you see the words 'Photo Number 1' pop up on your screen, you have about four seconds to shut off the movie, if you're already freaking out before you start seeing things that maybe you don't want to see."

What is Megan Is Missing about?

Megan Is Missing tells the story of Megan Stewart, a 14-year-old who vanishes.

She disappears under mysterious circumstances following her date with a predator who claims online to be a 17-year-old skateboarder.

The film is available to rent on Google Play – but make sure you take into account the above warning from the director before watching it.

Why is Megan Is Missing so controversial?

Although filmed in 2006, the film did not find distribution until Anchor Bay Films gave it a limited cinema release in 2011.

Marketed as an educational film, Megan Is Missing was banned in New Zealand upon its release.

The film has been heavily criticised for its exploitative nature, poor acting, graphic violence inflicted upon the child protagonists, and oversexualisation of young teenagers.

Director Goi wrote the script in 10 days and shot the film over the course of a week.

Because of the graphic content, he requested that the parents of the young cast be on set during filming so that they were fully aware of their children's involvement in the project

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