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Featured DVD Review: Forget Me Not

May 21st, 2011

Forget Me Not - Buy from Amazon

Forget Me Not is the latest in a long line of low-budget horror films that have found their way to my desk. Normally these movies are quite bad, as not only are they hampered by a low budget, but there are just so many similar films that's it's practically impossible to be truly original or unique. That said, I have been on a bit of a winning streak recently (minus a few TV movies) and as always, I try to go in cautiously optimistic.

The Movie

Forget Me Not starts with a young girl running away from something. When she gets home and bangs on her patio door her parents let her in and ask what happened. Her only response is, "I don't remember."

Flash forward many years and we see that same girl, Sandy, getting ready for school, while the scene cuts to a girl in a hospital bed who is in a coma. Sandy is about to graduate and is looking to become a doctor. The rest of her friends, well, let's just say they don't have such a fine future ahead of them. Granted, it's close to graduation day, so they are bound to be more interested in a little celebration than education. So while her and her younger brother, Eli, are getting good news about academic scholarships, the rest of her friends are drinking, smoking weed, having sex, etc.

Since it is so close to graduation and many of these friends are going away to college, they have one last big party together and later decide to play a game they used to play as kids for old times sake. It's played at the cemetery and it is like Hide-and-go-Seek mixed with Tag, except whenever the "ghost" catches someone, that person becomes another ghost and helps track down the rest. The last one alive wins. When they get to the cemetery, but before they start the game, a girl pops out from behind one of the gravestones and asks if she could join. While it may seem a little weird that she was all alone in a cemetery, who are they to judge? And she joins the game. Eli starts out being the ghost and soon the only one "alive" is the new girl, but when she's caught by Sandy, the new girl asks, "Do you remember me?" and jumps to her death. At least that's what she saw happen. The cops are called, but no body is found.

"Do you remember me?" does seem to spark a memory and she remembers playing the game with Angela, her best friend when she was a kid.

The next day, the lives of the kids mostly go back to normal, with getting ready for another end of school party. It's not all happy news, as Chad breaks up with Layla over another girl, Cecilia. In a fit of spite, she throws the necklace Chad had given her in the lake. In response, Chad simply says its her necklace, if she wants it back, she'll have to swim for it, and then he leaves her stranded at the lake. When she does retrieve the necklace, she spots the girl from the night before clinging to a buoy in the middle of the lake, who then slips below the surface of the water. (I won't say exactly what happens next, but given the genre, you can probably guess it doesn't turn out well.)

When Chad shows up to drive with the group to the beach, he's with Cecilia, but when Sandy asks about Layla, he just gives her a confused look. As more and more of her friends die, Sandy is the only one who remembers them and those that are alive just think she's crazy.

So how is Forget Me Not? Overall it is mixed, but I think more works than doesn't. The cast of characters are mostly annoying or, coincidentally, forgettable. A lot of teenage slashers have characters that are more than a little hedonistic, which is certainly the case here. I guess the almost soap opera like hooks ups did serve a purpose as with each death / erasure, there was an immediate new pairing that would naturally form. It does make it hard to sympathize with the side characters and this in turn makes it harder to be drawn into the movie till the plot really kicks in, which takes a while and it's not till we start to become filled in on what happened at the beginning of the movie does the plot truly move forward.

When it does, it is quite effective. The main aspect of the movie that sets it apart is well done. Some of the kills are effective, although not gory enough for gorehounds. The scares are based more on tension than blood. There are perhaps a few too many jump scares, while the design of the ghosts will give you a sense of deja vu, especially of you are a fan of J-horror, but the script is good and Carly Schroeder is very good in the lead role.

On a side note, this film has a large number of Disney stars in it, more than you would expect for a teenage slashers. Carly Schroeder first came to prominence with Lizzie McGuire, while Cody Linley was Jake Ryan in Hannah Montana. Jillian Murray, who plays Lex here, is in Sonny With a Chance. Chloe Bridges, Layla, was in Camp Rock 2. Bella Thorne, who plays the young Angela, is in Shake It Up! Add in ABC Family, which is run by Disney, and you have a few more connections.

One final note, when Chad Chad first slam on his brakes before meeting his end, you can clearly see skid marks where her stops. I'm guessing that was take two, maybe take three. That's not an attack on the film in any way, just something I noticed and it made me laugh at the time.

The Extras

The extras on the DVD are limited to a trio of rather short deleted scenes, plus an alternate ending.

The Verdict

Forget Me Not takes a while to get going, but when it does it is certainly compelling and with an interesting script and a strong lead performance, its worth checking out. The DVD does not have a lot of extras, which hurts the overall value. That said, it's still worth renting for most, picking up for fans of the genre.

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