2004-10-08 / Columnists

‘The Forgotten’ – Hard To Forget

“The Forgotten” is a haunting psychological thriller which stays with you despite any attempts to forget about it.

Moving in “Twilight Zone” terrain once traveled by “The Sixth Sense,” “The Forgotten” takes its time getting off the ground and into your subconscious. At first, freelance editor Telly (Julienne Moore) is almost annoying as she wallows in depression over the not-so-recent loss of her 9-year-old son Sam in a plane crash. Husband Jim (Anthony Edwards) and therapist Dr. Jack Munce (Gary Sinise) struggle to move her mind and emotional state into more upbeat areas. Then, Telly notices that Sam’s image is mysteriously missing from family photos and home videos. Enraged, she lashes out at Jim for trying to pretend their son never existed.

The problem is, Sam didn’t. Or so it’s said. Even Dr. Jack joins the conspiracy to eliminate Sam’s memory, as does the local library which suddenly is devoid of newspaper clips reporting the plane disaster that took Sam’s and five other children’s lives.

Fighting what her therapist calls a delusional disorder resulting from a miscarriage, Telly goes on a rampage to prove that Sam’s memory is real. She enlists the aid of over-the-hill hockey star Ash (Dominic West), whose forgotten daughter was also allegedly killed in the airline calamity. It takes some convincing, but Ash slowly recalls the image of his only child. At this point, Telly is being taken away by government agents, as the Gerard Di Pego script moves into an “X Files” mode with alien abductions and sudden shock effects. The big show stopper has potential Telly allies being abruptly and unexpectedly whisked away into the stratosphere. It’s an effect that is being used in a TV commercial, lessening the surprise for some who’ve seen it.

Director Joseph Ruben (“Sleeping With the Enemy”) has crafted a creep show putting Moore’s angst expertise to good use. However, the far-out story becomes a bit too pseudo-spiritual and philosophical for those who like their thrillers simple and action oriented.

Nonetheless, many of the ideas and images will seep into your psyche and add to your nightmares. In that way, “The Forgotten” is unforgettable.

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