Forget Me Not (Tyler Oliver, 2009)
Americans have, on occasion, attempted to make Japanese New Horror-style movies. You know the ones, long-haired ghosts and dripping with atmosphere? In pretty much every case I’ve run across, the main thing I took away from the movie was “Americans should not attempt to make Japanese-style horror movies.” Well, I am glad to say that’s finally changed thanks to a little indie horror flick called Forget Me Not. It actually sat on my Netflix queue for quite a while without me watching it simply because I assumed, given the Netflix description, it actually was a remake of an Asian horror movie. It’s not, it’s an American original, and thanks to a very clever, well-thought-out script and some surprisingly decent acting from a number of the principals, it’s one of the better horror films I’ve seen this month.
Plot: eight friends have just graduated from high school: Class president Sandy and her twin brother Eli (Mean Creek‘s Carly Schroeder and My Dog Skip‘s Cody Linley), Sandy’s boyfriend Jake (American Pie Presents Band Camp‘s Micah Alberti) and best friend Hannah (Beautiful Wave‘s Brie Gabrielle), Jake’s sister Lex and her boyfriend TJ (The Graves‘ Jillian Murray and Ten Inch Hero‘s Sean Wing), and playboy Chad and his girlfriend-of-the-moment Layla (Night Club‘s Zachary Abel and The Longshots‘ Chloe Bridges). After a raucous graduation party at TJ’s house, they head for the local graveyard to play a game from their childhood: one player is named the ghost, and must catch the others as they hide. Each caught person becomes another ghost, and the last person left hiding is the winner. Just before the game begins, another girl pops up from behind a tombstone and asks if she can play (Things Behind the Sun‘s Brittany Renee Finnamore). The gang welcome her in, and the game begins. The new girl, Angela, is the winner, but before everyone else gathers, Angela accosts Sandy, asking her if she remembers. She doesn’t—and this begins a string of disasters that take more and more malicious turns…
It starts off (and sounds) like a typical supernatural slasher movie, but co-writers Oliver and Jamieson Stern came up with some very interesting twists on the genre. As well, they managed to cobble together a half-decent stable of actors, so while the acting in the movie is no great shakes, it’s at least competent. The same can be said for most of the technical details—lighting, sound, direction, etc. Competent, but that’s really all that’s necessary; the script carries this one, and carries it very well. Definitely worth looking out for if you’re a fan of horror films. *** ½
Not a trailer–it’s the full film (with Greek subs, which you can hopefully just ignore. Unless you only speak Greek. Then you will need them. But then you won’t be reading this review, because while I’ve tried to learn a couple of times, I still don’t speak Greek.)