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THE FORGOTTEN

Review by Gordon Justesen

Stars: Julianne Moore, Dominic West, Gary Sinise, Alfre Woodard, Linus Roache, Anthony Edwards
Director: Joseph Ruben
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Thai Dolby Digital 5.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Studio: Columbia Tri Star
Features: See Review
Length: 91 Minutes
Release Date: January 18, 2005

“Please tell me where my son is. No one will know what you told us. I swear to you.”

“THEY’RE LISTENING.”

Film ***

I will attempt to conduct a review without spoilers. Mind you, dear reader, it will be quite difficult.

To be quite honest, before watching The Forgotten, I didn’t really expect too many surprises. The reason for this being is I happen to have seen the trailer a few times, and it looked as if, once again, just about every single surprise in store had been revealed before my eyes. Now as I watched the actual movie, I came to discover that the ads didn’t really spoil much of anything, except the basic plotline that was needed to hook its audience in. What a surprise!

The Forgotten will appeal easily to fans of shows such as The X-Files or even The Twilight Zone. It carries a plotline that would be fitting for both series. Although you may not think much about it when it’s over, there’s still plenty to thrill you while you’re watching.

Julianne Moore stars as Telly Paretta, a woman who has been in constant grieving ever since the disappearance of her son, Sam. She regularly visits her psychiatrist, Dr. Munce (Gary Sinise), who feels that her mind has a solid grip on the past, therefore not allowing her to forget the memories of events which led up to the day Sam went missing.

What everyone else seems to think happened, including Telly’s husband (Anthony Edwards), is that Sam never went missing, but died along with several other children during in a plane crash while en route to a special camp. But Telly is convinced otherwise, especially when strange events begin to occur, such as various objects disappearing, a car not being where it was parked, etc.

When being told by both the doctor and the husband that she’s been delusional for quite some time, Telly refuses to believe it. She then tracks down a man named Ash (Dominic West), a parent of another child that went missing at the same time, and who was friends with her son. He turns her away at first, but after a shocking discovery, starts recollecting the days of when he did in fact have a daughter.

Soon, Telly and Ash find themselves on the run, not only from the local police, but from NSA agents who seem more interested in tracking the two down because of a larger factor of the mystery that they may know about. Are they in on the supposed conspiracy? It’s at this point where The Forgotten really begins to take off in terms of generating excitement and a few chills.

The revelation to the mystery is one I will not reveal, but I will say that it’s a plot turn that serves the story quite well, especially in the realm of X-Files-like conspiracy paranoia. There are even a few jump moments along the way, and I don’t care how hard it is for you to be spooked, you are more than likely to react to the scenes in question.

In short, The Forgotten gets off to a questionable start, but then gets a lot more thrilling and involving along the way. And by the end, it has our attention at full grasp. Telly’s final confrontation with the truth behind what has happened is a show stopping moment.

The Forgotten is a nicely crafted, well acted and terrifically paced piece of suspense. It’s enjoyed even more if you don’t think about it too hard and simply just go along for the crazy, paranoid ride.

Video ****

Columbia Tri Star kicks off their new year of releases with a most fantastic looking disc. The anamorphic picture is nothing short of superb, such as in the CTS tradition. Image quality of utter sharpness and amazing detail. Colors are quite astonishing, as well. The movie has equal doses of both day shots and night shots, and both of which turn out magnificently.

Audio ****

The 5.1 Dolby mix provided puts this suspense thriller to terrific use in terms of the many thrills it has to offer, especially in the last half hour. But the entire presentation makes grand use of the surround sound atmosphere. Dialogue is delivered in solid mode, numerous set pieces provide extravagant level of diverse sound amongst the channels, and James Horner’s music score, as expected, is delivered with sheer power.

Features ***1/2

Columbia Tri Star’s nicely done package is one you won’t soon forget. First off, there are two versions of the movie included; the theatrical version and an extended version which features an alternate ending. Also featured is a commentary with director Joseph Ruben and writer Gerald DiPego (on the theatrical version only), two featurettes; “Remembering The Forgotten” and a Starz On the Set special. Lastly, there are deleted scenes, and a preview gallery.

Summary:

The Forgotten adds up to a most enjoyable piece of thrilling, escapist entertainment. It works very well as a suspense roller coaster, right up to the knockout conclusion. Fans of heart stopping mystery with a touch of sci-fi are guaranteed their money’s worth.

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