The Forgotten is being unfairly compared to The Sixth Sense, so if you go into it expecting your socks to be blown off with a neat little twist of an ending, you’ll undoubtedly be disappointed. No twist per se to be found here. Move along.
If anything, the film plays out more like the Lifetime Channel doing an X-Files knockoff. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though. The Forgotten, while taking its time to establish tone and character, ultimately delivers with some very solid suspense and a few unexpected jolts.
Telly (Julianne Moore) is the grieving mother of a child killed in a plane crash 16 months earlier. Her husband (Anthony Edwards) and psychiatrist (Gary Sinise) are concerned that she is obsessed, in that she spends an inordinate amount of time watching videotapes of the boy and paging through scrapbooks. But then, not all is as it seems. Is she deranged, creating a nine-year alternate life of a boy who never existed, as her shrink suggests? Is there some nefarious cover-up at work to make her think she is buggy?
Telly hooks up with Ash (Dominic West), a man who lost a child in the same crash but in the interim has “forgotten” that his daughter ever existed. Together, they evade federal agents and a mysterious stranger as they track down the answer.
To the attentive viewer, the answer is fairly obvious, in that on a narrative level there is pretty much only one way to go with the premise. That said, the flick plays fair, although the coda seems to be at odds with the established internal logic set up until then. Ultimately, a little goofy, but fun.