Movies You Aught Not Watch is Nick Rogers’ weekly, alphabetical look back at the 52 worst films of 2000 to 2009.
The Forgotten was filled with scenes of shattered glass — fitting for a wannabe thriller that fatally injured itself by rolling around in shards of plot.
Julianne Moore is Telly Paretta (her name almost as laughable as the story), a mother still grieving the loss of her 9-year-old son in a plane crash more than a year later.
But Telly is told her son is a construct of her imagination by Dr. Munce (Gary Sinise), who says she has post-traumatic stress disorder from a long-ago miscarriage. Years of memories suggest otherwise, so Telly embarks on a search for the truth.
This 2004 stinker coasts on a chilly mood created by the du-jour disorientation of a handheld camera and mournful violin swells. For a time, it flirts with a potentially interesting notion — commentary on the over-reliance of suggestive psychology.
Ah, but Munce is a seemingly insignificant character played by an actor too recognizable to be insignificant. Sucking characters into the sky proves a good metaphor for what The Forgotten does to the talent of the actors playing them. Plus, paying even haphazard attention to one of the many car crashes offers a big tipoff to the film’s absurdly handled reveal.
Moore continues to fumble for legitimate emotion in indie films while alternatively popping up in soulless studio swill like this, Laws of Attraction and Evolution. “I need you to forget!” screams the chief evildoer to a cowering Moore in The Forgotten’s climax. His advice, quite thankfully, isn’t hard to heed.