The Forgotten

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Review byMatthew Turner24/11/2004

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 91 mins

Daft thriller that starts well but takes a nosedive into stupidity, from which it never recovers, despite strong work from Julianne Moore.

At a certain point in The Forgotten you start to wonder whether the title is actually short for ‘The Forgotten Episode Of The X-Files’, partly because of Julianne Moore’s resemblance to Dana Scully, but also because the plot becomes increasingly ridiculous to the point where the entire film almost collapses under its own weight.

Stupidly Named Housewife Imagines Son

Julianne Moore plays stupidly-named housewife Telly Paretta, a woman who has been grieving for the loss of her son in a plane crash 14 months previously. When her husband (Anthony Edwards) and psychiatrist (Gary Sinise) inform her that she never had a son and that her memories are in fact the result of post-traumatic shock following a miscarriage, Telly, understandably, doesn’t believe them and turns Girl Detective in order to find out what’s going on.

When Telly meets fellow victim Ash (Dominic West), she becomes convinced of a conspiracy after she manages to remind him that his daughter was on the same flight. Sure enough, shortly afterwards, they’re on the run from the FBI and other assorted black suit-types. But why is Linus Roache following them around? Eh?

The Forgotten starts really well, thanks to sterling work by Julianne Moore; in the scene where she discovers that her home movie tapes are blank, she effectively conveys the universal fear of accidentally taping over a treasured video. There’s also an extremely well directed chase sequence and enough suspense is built up so that you really want to know what’s going on.

Nosedive Into Stupidity

Unfortunately, however, the film then takes a huge nosedive into stupidity and throws away all the good work it has built up. As an example, it contains lines such as “The truth won’t fit in your brain!”, which isn’t quite as catchy as “The Truth Is Out There” and illicits unintentional giggles as a result.

In fact, the film becomes so gloriously stupid that certain elements deserve special mention, so if you don’t want to know what’s going on, skip this paragraph? Still here? Well, don’t say you weren’t warned. It’s aliens. Yes, that’s right, aliens, which means that this is Linus Roache’s second film in a row (after The Ridicules of Chronic) in which he plays a Scary Alien Creature. Fire your agent, Linus.

That said, the film does have the best alien abduction effects you’ve ever seen; the biggest shock in the film involves Alfre Woodard’s kindly police detective being suddenly ripped off the ground and flung into the air. (Stupidly, the trailers apparently give away this bit). It’s a fabulous scene, although you’ll be hard pressed not to follow your initial gasp with hysterical laughter.

In short, The Forgotten is very much a film of two halves; the first half is an enjoyable, well acted, impressively directed, suspenseful thriller, but the second half is laughably stupid, complete with an ending that is just plain insulting. Worth seeing if you’re a fan of Bad Movies, but basically, the sooner The Forgotten is forgotten, the better.

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The Forgotten
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Content updated: 15/11/2019 12:39

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