Never a lost cause
Rehashing the 'kids go missing' plot line is always lucrative for Hollywood
What's the one thing that could possibly be more devastating for parents than the death of their child?
Their child going missing.
They will struggle with panic, desperation, loss, despair, fear - emotions we can barely imagine.
Hollywood actor Nicolas Cage portrays a dad who goes through a roller-coaster of emotions in his new movie Pay The Ghost.
In the supernatural thriller, opening here on Oct 8, he plays literature professor Mike,whose young son Charlie (Jack Fulton) goes missing while they are out celebrating Halloween.
One year after Charlie's disappearance, Mike is haunted by eerie images and terrifying "pay the ghost" messages. Together with his estranged wife (Sarah Wayne Callies), they stop at nothing to unravel the mystery and find their boy.
Cage, 51, recently told Entertainment Weekly that one reason he responded to the film was the "emotional horror of every parent's worst nightmare".
"Losing your child - this is something that I think all parents are terrified about," said the father of two.
Indeed, the "child abduction" genre is one that Hollywood mines on a regular basis - almost as often as Cage has been rehashing his heroic dad roles in the past decade.
Simply revisit similar stuff like Stolen (kidnapped daughter), Rage (kidnapped daughter), The Wicker Man (kidnapped daughter), Trespass (kidnapped daughter held hostage) and Drive Angry (kidnapped granddaughter!), and you'll quickly get the picture.
Here are other movies that explore such terror - and the extreme measures parents take to rescue their little ones.
Hugh Jackman is not always a nice guy. This unsettling drama shows how terrifying he can be as a frantic father whose six-year-old girl has gone missing.
When the police release the suspected kidnapper (Paul Dano) because of a lack of evidence, Jackman takes matters into his own hands - kidnapping Dano and putting him through unimaginable torture.
Jodie Foster plays an aircraft designer who boards a plane with her daughter Julia. Mid-flight, her little girl mysteriously vanishes and a conspiracy reveals itself.
Lesson to be learnt here: Don't mess with a mum so furious she'll crash the plane to take down the bad guys.
MAN ON FIRE (2004)
In this movie, set in Mexico City, where the kidnapping of kids from wealthy families is rampant, Denzel Washington plays a bodyguard-cum-surrogate father to a girl (Dakota Fanning).
When she's taken during his watch, he goes on a vengeful rampage that features ultraviolent methods of information gathering.