"Motherhood Conquers Demonic Forces"
What You Need To Know:
There are some nifty twists and sudden thrills in THE FORGOTTEN, but the ending is slightly anti-climactic because it lacks the final big twist to wrap up things. The premise of THE FORGOTTEN is a moral, redemptive one. It shows a strong mother figure stubbornly fighting demonic powers threatening her child. The movie has a slightly feminist tone, however, which discredits the connection between fathers and their children. It also has a humanist worldview with pagan elements that leaves many worldview questions unanswered.
(H, Pa, Fe, BB, C, LL, VV, N, AA, D, M) Humanist worldview with pagan and feminist elements that undercut fatherhood, but with a moral, slightly redemptive premise extolling motherhood; five obscenities (including one “f” word), six strong profanities, and three light profanities; strong, sometimes sudden and scary, violence includes car crash, car hits man, explosion, man hit and threatened with poker in tense scene, scary humanoid beings or demons with supernatural or alien powers of some kind allows one to distort face and break glass, government agents brandish guns, and people suddenly disappear in scary ways; no sex but couples lie down in bed to sleep; brief upper male nudity; alcohol use and drunkenness; smoking; and, apparent kidnapping, secret plots and psychological trauma.
GENRE: Supernatural Thriller
THE FORGOTTEN is a thriller that tries to capture the supernatural horrors of M. Night Shyamalan’s thrillers (THE SIXTH SENSE, SIGNS, and THE VILLAGE). There are some nifty twists and sudden shocks in the movie, but the ending lacks the final big twist that Shyamalan sometimes pulls off in his movies.
In the story, Julianne Moore plays a mother who can’t let go of the memory of her son who died in a plane disaster of some kind. Fourteen months later, she obsessively keeps mourning over his photos and baseball things. Then, she discovers that her distraught husband Jim may be hiding the photos from her to encourage her to normalize her life.
Soon, it becomes evident (or does it?) that dark forces with supernatural or alien powers of some kind may have actually kidnapped her son. She teams up with the father of a girl who supposedly also died in the plane disaster to find her son and the girl.
The premise of THE FORGOTTEN is a moral, redemptive one. It shows a strong mother figure stubbornly fighting and defeating demonic powers threatening her child. This is a classic American motif of dark forces threatening women and children. This motif is a mainstay of many great American movies, novels, and television dramas and adventures, such as John Ford’s THE SEARCHERS and Don Siegel’s DIRTY HARRY. The movie has a slightly feminist tone, however, which discredits the connection between fathers and their children. Also, the heroic mother in THE FORGOTTEN is eventually victorious without relying upon the power of God or Jesus Christ, who play no role in this particular story. Thus, the movie has a humanist worldview with pagan elements that leaves many worldview questions unanswered. Considering the flair that the filmmakers display in the rest of the movie, the lack of a provocative, powerful twist and a more complete explanation for the demonic forces at the end makes for a somewhat anti-climactic ending.
The filmmakers are too cagey about who or what exactly the villains are. Thus, the conflict in the story is not fully resolved, and the ontological, metaphysical and anthropological aspects of the movie’s worldview and premise are left hanging.
Perhaps, the filmmakers of THE FORGOTTEN should have consulted reviewed some of Alfred Hitchcock’s old movies so they could wrap things up in a more conclusive manner. Better yet, they could have consulted MOVIEGUIDE® and the Christian Film & Television Commission to give their movie a surprise Christian or biblical ending that would also have given fathers a fairer shake. That would have been an even more heroic, more redemptive and more powerful movie.