Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Forget Me Not (2009)

Friends: till death do us part

A group of overindulgent teens are living up the party life after high school when they decide to return to the cemetery they used to play a spooky but innocent game at. One person pretends to be a ghost, while everyone else hides and then once caught that person turns into another ghost to go after the rest--last one alive/not tagged wins. There they meet a mysterious girl their age who wants to play, only to be seen jumping over a cliff by another girl named Sandy as soon as she won. She's nowhere to be found, until she shows up to take out those that awakened her in a series of gruesome accidents where each person that she kills everyone else forgets all except Sandy. There are some flashbacks to when Sandy was young and had a bff named Angela who she used to exclusively play with until boys and other more adventurous kids entered the picture. This starts out with some fun and games until Sandy starts to crack up and go into hysterics from none of her friends believing her while certain aspects of their lives get altered like a butterfly effect once someone else is removed from the picture.

This is treated like somewhat of a formula where the bad guy systematically takes out screaming and confused victims that don't have a fighting chance to save their own skin. Once the villains show up, you know their fate is sealed. Like a slasher film: what's going to happen to the characters is predictable but how they get it just before that point comes with some variation. A share of the attacks occur in an isolated or cornered area away from their friends, which makes nowhere safe including walking around in broad day light. Though the only character aware of that is Sandy--even then it's not all put together yet--while the others go about their merry way none the wiser which takes away some of the imminent danger and omnipresence of it all. They're superficial characters that represent a pretty face and body that live life on the edge and in turn get knocked off without a care except for the waste of genes. These are some strange and somewhat unique looking villains--a blend of CG and make-up--that shake, twitch, growl and hiss with gaping mouths and sizable teeth. They don't seem inherent to this particular story but that might just be to keep the viewer from being able to wrap their head around them.

The cinematography, with a crisper picture quality and some wider angles, makes this seem higher budget than it really is. The cast interacts somewhat naturally with each other like they could really be friends, even if they only come with a general outline and limited range: macho/slutty/drunk/high, then for a short period yell, plead or scream when their time comes. The underlying story is a neat idea itself about promises as a friend and then redemption for those that have been slighted in a highly elaborate game of pay back and revenge. Not to mention how it circles back in a roundabout way was an effective twist. What's disappointing is the concept is only taken so far when it doesn't have another driving point apart from including a share of filler scenes that show how these kids live on the wild side. It could have been more effective if they were clued in or have significant reasons to separate from the group and put themselves in danger than accidentally walking into it. Or show that they are more than mere acquaintences. Neither does it make this as thrilling as it could have been when the characters don't have much going for them or little to look forward to even when out of school. The expression "the world is yours for the taking" only took them as far as their parents' wallets, then over to the liquor and condom aisle at the local gas station. Are they missed? Probably not.

Rating: 6/10

Director: Tyler Oliver
Stars: Carly Schroeder, Brie Gabrielle, Cody Linley, Jillian Murray
Link: IMDB

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