Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Forget Me Not and Forgetting Oneself: A Movie Review

*full disclosure: a DVD screener of this film was provided by Phase 4 Films.

**here be spoilers (of course).

Director: Tyler Oliver.

Writers: Tyler Oliver and Jamieson Stern.

Forget Me Not is a horror film from Tyler Oliver, which will release on DVD May 24th, 2011, through Phase 4 Films. The film stars Carly Schroeder (Prey), Cody Linley (Cheaper by the Dozen), and Brie Gabrielle, in what is a mostly tense thriller. Taking some license with the Ring and Red Mist, Forget Me Not introduces a young girl placed in a coma, by some misguided youth. In this unconscious state, Angela (Brittany Renee Finamore) takes revenge on these kids, now grown up, by reliving a childhood game. The dominoes fall one by one, as Oliver develops a supernatural mythos involving characters returning from the grave. Few characters survive their time in this local graveyard.

Comparisons to other films crop up pretty quick into this film. After Angela comes back on the scene as an adult ghost, she looks much like Samara from the Ring franchise. Her skin is pale, while her hair hangs down across her face and her movements are similarly awkward and robotic. Not happy with being the victim of a practical joke, Angela recruits a cadre of strangely moving figures, through beheadings, drownings and other gory deaths. This young woman is able to do all of this from her hospital bed, with Oliver finding influence from another film, titled Red Mist and likely others. This revengeful villain plays a deadly game again all with her mind, just like Paddy Breathnach's 2008 film.

Forget Me Not will not disappoint fans of the macabre, as several of the characters find themselves in the center of some brutal death scenes. Friends Jake (Micah Alberti), Hannah (Gabrielle), Lex (Jillian Murray) and others are impaled by glass, electrocuted or drowned in sand. Oliver gives horror fans special treatment by envisioning creative ways for the characters to remove themselves from the screen. Some of the tenser scenes are actual teases, which do not lead to violence. Yet, the shadow of Angela is ever tormenting her former friends, with a shambling movement here, or a scream from behind a bush, over there. The blood effects are believable as well and well-crafted by special effects head Josh Hakian. Bloodhounds will find plenty for interest here.

After Angela begins knocking off characters from her hospital bed, Sandy (Schroeder) does her best to unseat this murderess. However, unplugging her life support only seems to piss Angela off and soon, there are only a few cast members left. Here a childhood rhyme lets viewers know how to win the game, but Sandy is simply too late. The clock strikes midnight and all those turned into ghosts shall remain so forever! The moral of the story is left to viewers; yet, the myth of a childhood game keeps the structure of Forget Me Not ever moving forward in a horrifying fashion. The result is a good time spent tensing oneself, in preparation for the next monstrous appearance of Angela.

This film will finally be available to fans after a two year pause, this May 24th. Oliver breaks the usual silly college-kids-in-the-woods premise by adding in a plotline which erases the offed kids from the memories of the survivors. This is an interesting addition and Forget Me Not adds enough of the horror to entertain, while consciously or unconsciously nodding to some excellent horror films from the past. In the end, this is a compelling film of tragedy, with enough of a story to keep viewers tied to their seats. Let the mind wander, as Angela does her best Samara impression, in what is a suspenseful 100+ minutes.

Acting/believability: 7.5 (the actions are mostly believable, some scenes are over sexualized, and there is some confusion distinguishing some characters from others as many look the same).
Writing/story/plot: 8 (the addition of forgetfulness links with the title, there is a strong mythos hear, which the film follows, ends tragically).

Overall: 7.75 out of 10.

Special features with this release include: deleted scenes, an alternate ending, a photo gallery and a trailer.

More details on this film at Phase 4 Films:

Forget Me Not at Phase 4 Films

Pick this one up, or put the film on your Netflix queue:

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