Monday, May 11, 2015

I Will Remember You

Sometimes I’m really grateful to have been a fat child.

Though I was never bullied (this despite being chubby, a nerd, in band, theater, AND the badminton team) there were also a lot of factors that thankfully excluded me from the A-crowd. 

Shocking, I know
If horror movies about popular kids tormenting the uncool have taught me anything, it’s that the uncool will eventually be reincarnated as an evil and incredibly powerful spirit bent on delivering horrible horrible vengeance to all that took part or witnessed said acts of torment.

Yeah, it’s good to be a geek.

Quick Plot: Sandy is the pretty and popular high school president happily celebrating her graduation with valedictorian brother Eli, quarterback boyfriend Jake, and a small bunch of generically attractive young actors whose names I couldn’t possibly be asked to remember.

I’m guessing something like Parker, Hunter, Tyler, Buffy, Oober, and Eyefoan.

Anyway, Sandy + the Holograms decide to celebrate their newfound adulthood the way you do, by playing their version of drunken freeze tag in a creepy cemetery. No one thinks it too odd when a random generically attractive young woman shows up (in the middle of a creepy cemetery) to join in the fun. Things change when the game ends and the creepy random generically attractive young woman hanging out in a cemetery asks Sandy if she remembers her. Sandy doesn’t, so CRGAYW gives a gentle smile and leaps away into what should be certain death, providing you’re not in a horror movie.

There’s no sign of a body, so the kids continue their fun the next day with a trip to the beach. Well, some do. Before you can figure out how to use a selfie stick (or whatever kids these days do with their free time), they start getting knocked off by an angry ghost bearing a more than a slight resemblance to the CRGAYW.

Been there, done that, most horror fans would say at this point. Forget Me Not, however, has a few little tricks up its sleeve. As Sandy’s friends die, their entire existence seems to disappear to everyone except Sandy. Naturally, this leads everyone to question the once-perfect blond’s sanity, as she begins to piece together the cause.

Cue the expected flashback to Sandy & Co. making a fool out of a young epileptic orphan named Angela. This being a horror movie, the prank leads to a coma, which leads to a ghosting, which leads to a whole lot of creative killing and frantic Ten Little Indians-esque countdowns.

Directed by newcomer Tyler Oliver (with a script credited to Oliver and Jamieson Stern), Forget Me Not calls to mind the recent Mine Games in combining the expected tenets of a pretty-people-in-peril slasher with some new twists. It works well, if not spectacularly. There are a few too many generically attractive characters at the start so that as they start dying off and only Sandy could recall their names, I identified more with her blank friends in wondering who the heck TJ and JT and Samsung Galaxy actually were. My first note at the start of the film was “five minutes in and I already hate everyone.” That’s never good.

Thankfully, the setup of Forget Me Not eventually brought me into Sandy’s sad loop so that as the numbers dwindled, I genuinely did feel sad at the thought of her losing not just her friends’ lies, but their very existence. There really is a tragedy in that, and Forget Me Not makes the most of it in showing how each life’s erasing would have such a deep impact on Sandy. It takes a little too long to find its heart, but when Forget Me Not does, it finds the right weight to be a little more than a typical dead teenager flick.

High Points
A CGI ghost is a CGI ghost, but Forget Me Not manages to give them some new twists with a pretty cool design and some eerie jerking movements

Low Points
So which one was Ashley and which one was Mary Kate and which one was Pantene?

Lessons Learned
You know you’re watching a movie starring millenials when the opening credits include the following first names: Courteny, Bella, Chloe, Brittany, and Brie. No offense to anyone who bears such a moniker, but I have a hard time imagining any of these names proceeded by ‘grandma’

As everyone probably already knows, duct tape is the most handy material in this world, but what they probably don’t know is that it’s equally useful in the ghost dimension

With every impossibly empty horror movie hospital comes the impossibly unlocked hospital rooftop

Sex with a stranger is worth a lot of margarita mix and Wonder Bread

Forget Me Not isn’t anything overly special, but it’s a well-made little supernatural slasher that manages to bring some new energy to the genre. Those looking for a breezy Instant Watch horror filled with pretty faces and some rather brutal violence shouldn’t be too disappointed.

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