The Forgotten

January 28, 2012 8 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Telly Paretta (Julianne Moore) has been troubled of late, as her memory seems to be out of order, at least some of the time. She can’t recall where she parked her car, she thinks she has a drink when she doesn’t, just small incidents. Even so, these events concern her to no end, as she worries her mind could be lapsing and of course, that would be horrific. As if these minor incidents weren’t enough, she now faces a crisis that threatens to push her over the brink. A photo of herself, her husband, and her late son has changed, as now the photo shows only her and her husband. Then when she seeks out the scrapbooks of her son’s photos, she finds only blank pages, which causes her immense duress. When she approaches her husband Jim (Anthony Edwards) about this unusual turn of events, he responds in a most unexpected fashion. He tries to settle her down, but when he tells her that they’ve never had a child, her mind almost shatters. She knows her son was alive, as her mind is filled with memories of his short, but beloved existence. As she searches for even a small shred of evidence that her son was alive, she can’t find anything to prove herself. Then when she confides in her therapist Dr. Jack Munce (Gary Sinise), he also claims that no child was born and that Telly has become delusional. But Telly is convinced that her mind is not failing, as the emotional is real as well. Has her life been little more than a false memory, or is there a grander plan that hides the truth?

If the premise sounds familiar, you’re not insane. This basic concept has been explored before, but to its credit, The Forgotten does spin off in some new directions. I enjoy a good thriller, but after a deluge of poorly crafted ones in recent years, my expectations weren’t high for this picture. After the success of The Sixth Sense, the shock twist conclusion is all the rage, so I braced myself. Just as The Sixth Sense, most of the films that make use of the twist ending often come off as mediocre. A passable suspense experience, which is then flushed down the drain by a forced, nonsensical conclusion. The Forgotten will not be remembered as an elite level thriller, but after all the terrible thrillers out of late, it stands above the crowd. The film has the usual thriller elements, tons of suspense, eerie visual design, near misses, chases, and of course, intense paranoia. But unlike most other recent thrillers, this movie has emotion, which makes all the difference. The story is driven by that emotion, which makes us want to connect with the characters and share this horrific experience. This is in no small part thanks to Julianne Moore (Boogie Nights, Far from Heaven), who turns in a powerful performance. She is intense here, to a level that you know she will not stop until she uncovers the truth she knows is out there. The rest of the cast is also solid, with some excellent casting decisions present. The Forgotten is a well crafted thriller, one that comes through in most respects with flying colors. I have to admit, the end sequence leaves a little to be desired, but the conclusion is better than I expected. Columbia’s DVD is a fine treatment all around, so if you’re in the mood for a thriller, The Forgotten is well recommended.

Video: How does it look?

The Forgotten is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. This is another excellent new release from Columbia, which means the film’s dark visuals are well replicated. I saw some minor debris on the print, but just small nicks and such. I know we expect pristine prints on new releases, but a few specks aren’t reason enough for rebellion. You’ll also see some jagged edges, but outside of those flaws, this is a dynamic visual effort. The colors are bold and rich, even in darker scenes, while flesh tones remain warm and natural. No issues with contrast either, thanks to some spot on black levels that never disappoint. So while this isn’t a flawless presentation, it is a great one and is sure to satisfy all audiences.

Audio: How does it sound?

The premise lends itself to immense tension and atmosphere, which are enhanced by the included Dolby Digital 5.1 option. The surrounds kick hard and often, even in more reserved sequences. But the gloves come off in the assorted chase sequences, which is when the surrounds get down to business. The speakers use power, range, and depth to put you in the middle of it all, with excellent results. I found the LFE use to be superb also, as it has some serious punch in numerous scenes. The dialogue is clean and clear also, with no volume balance problems to report. This disc also includes French and Thai language tracks, as well as subtitles in English, French, Korean, Thai, and Chinese.

Supplements: What are the extras?

The case promises an extended version, but don’t expect a full on director’s cut, as this alternate version is not that much different. A couple of new scenes have been worked into the movie, then an alternate ending has been tacked on. The result is an inferior motion picture, so at least the first time, make sure you view the theatrical version. An audio commentary with director Joseph Ruben and writer Gerald DiPego is almost as much of a let down. The two have some worthwhile insights, but neither man has even decent speaking skills, so this sounds more like a lecture than a conversation. If either could have been engaging to listen to, this might have been a solid track, but instead, its best used as a cure for insomnia. A pair of behind the scenes featurettes round out the extras, but neither is worthwhile. As usual, these come off more as promotional tools than genuine inside peeks, which is a disappointment.

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