I decided to check this one out after seeing the trailer on YouTube. I liked the look of it but my expectations weren’t particularly high.
My trailer surfing activities paid off! Yet again I found a horror film that offers a nice little twist on the usual dull-as-shit Hollywood-teen-slasher rubbish.
I think horror movies are genuinely getting smarter. I want to state here that I am not a fan of the Scream movies and that metatheatrical self-reference tends to irritate me immensely unless it is done well. For me Scream was not smart, or clever – it was a lazy attempt at rehashing old ground with a lot of gloss.
This is different. At its heart is a pretty fresh idea, it plays with horror clichés in a subtle (non-Scream)way and has some creepy visuals. I’m going to have to throw in some major SPOILERS here so that I can really discuss what’s good about this movie, so please be warned.
The two movies that I could pinpoint as influences on Forget Me Not would be Carrie and Silent Hill. Maybe they sound like weird comparisons to make – but the central supernatural activity does not centre around a ghost or demon but around a young woman who is comatose as a result of the actions of the film’s protagonists. Here we have strong links to Alessa Gillespie and also, to a lesser extent, Stephen King’s Carrie – as the outcast and bullied girl with supernatural powers. A further comparison to Silent Hill can be made through the film’s visuals, as the shaking, distorted figures twitch and stagger their way across the screen it’s hard not to be reminded of the Bubble Head nurses.
The concept of the film is original – not only are the youngsters disappearing but they are effectively ceasing to exist. Each time one is ‘killed’ by the vengeful Angela, they become a strange demon-like creature that assists in destroying their friends. And only Sandy is able to remember that her friends ever existed. What’s also interesting about this film is its dark-edge. The protagonists are not fighting just for survival, but for their very existence. What threatens them is not death – but total oblivion.
So the film has an interesting concept that’s a bit different from anything that has come before and the visuals are original.
Now for the bad points. This film is hard to follow. It doesn’t exactly have a complicated plot and yet it fails to make what’s happening clear. The viewer is left to figure out that the ‘demon creatures’ are actually the missing youngsters – and that’s pretty hard to tell under the thick make-up and the juddering way they are filmed. It’s also frustrating that the protagonist isn’t more alarmed when her companions don’t remember anything about their friends – adding to a long list of frustrating ‘WTF? moments’. The dialogue is also painful and the characters are irritating cardboard cut-outs that you’ve seen a hundred times before.
The start of the film is also a bit dull. It begins really predictably with the excessively-attractive young people playing around in a graveyard. I would like to think that this is because the film-makers want to lull you into a false sense of security so that the viewer is wrong-footed when things start to get weird – but I doubt it. The other major problem is that no attempt is made to explain why little orphan Annie (Angela) has these amazing abilities OR why Sandy would agree to play such a vicious trick on the girl.
Sadly, again, this is a film that is aiming too high. Take as a comparison Final Destination a film that also has an original supernatural concept at its heart – but where this concept is acknowledged and discussed by the protagonists. In Forget Me Not the kids just wander around aimlessly and bicker until they’re all dead. The ending is refreshingly dark but the whole film has that feeling of under-achievement: there was a good idea at the core and it should have been exploited better.
In summary: Forget Me Not is worth watching for some interesting and creepy visuals and a satisfying ending but along the way don’t expect too much. The concept is interesting but its slow to get going and at times frustratingly badly-handled. Having said that it does offer something new and if you can be patient you may find the experience ultimately satisfying.