03 October 2015

THE FORGOTTEN ONES/2009

Lately I have not been in a good mood when it comes to the net and blogging and I fear that that sour disposition is going to make my review of this really horrible movie all the more bitter. I have been dealing with hackers, bandwidth issues and host server crashes over at the Uranium Café and if all that is not enough Blogger is blocked in China and all my work here must be done on a gruelingly slow hit and miss process through a proxy. I have gotten way behind on my updates here because I hate dealing with the proxy issues but since my hosted site is in limbo all the time I decided I need to do something to keep the flame burning. For now there will be less graphics and almost no embedded media here at Necrotic Cinema. Publishing those things is really slow and unpredictable through proxies but I will do my best.

I think I have learned something way too late in life. What valuable lesson is that Uranium Willy?There are essentially two kinds of movies. Those movies that are great or pretty good movies and crappy movies that compare themselves to great or pretty good movies on the DVD covers in order to hook someone in to forking over some cold cash renting or buying the damned things. For example you have great war films like Apocalypse Now or Platoon. So when you pick up a film you have never heard of with a bunch of no name actors and on the DVD cover it says “In the tradition of Platoon and Apocalypse Now…” you can bet the film will steal scenes and ideas from those films but will in no way be in the same league. Of course when this desperate marketing ruse happens within the horror genre the result can be about the worst thing imaginable, and such is the case with 2009’s The Forgotten Ones, also known as The Tribe, which is made in the horror traditions of The Descent and Predator. Or so it states on the DVD cover. My despondent mood makes it a struggle to even want to give any sort of reasonable synopsis of this mess and yet I feel I have an obligation to do so. A mission of sorts, to warn my fellow horror movie enthusiasts to either avoid this one or go into it with the proper frame of mind: that you are gong to see a bad movie and make the most of it and have a little fun. My expectations were way too high going in, making the plummet all the more devastating later.

I will be brief here in my sketch of the film. A group of mismatched people head out on a luxury yacht for some relaxation. None of them seem to like one another and this seems to be the case with most modern horror films (or films in general) and I have to wonder what compelled half a dozen people with nothing in common with each other except mutual disdain to decide to travel across the Caribbean together and think they will enjoy life is beyond my limited reasoning ability. A storm hits and the boat snags a rock and sinks but they all survive and are washed up on the beach of a mysterious island in the French Antilles. On the first night one of the group, Peter (Justin Baldoni), is dragged off of the beach during the night by something. There is blood all over the place but later we find he received basically a bad but hardly massive blood squirting wound to his leg. His disappearance is a formula vehicle to create tension and conflict in the group, but none of it works. The acting and script is so bad that all the arguing about whether or not to search for him is annoying at best. Of course they search for him and while in the jungle become prey for the monsters of the title, which are indeed hybrids of the blind cave dwellers of The Descent and the tree top stalking super hunter from Predator. The difference is these monsters are simply nothing special at all. They are low budget obvious men in suit monsters that never excited me at all.

A deserted anthropologist camp is found and we are treated to corny flashbacks that are a useless attempt to explain the creatures. The long deserted camp hardly looks overgrown by jungle foliage. It rather seems to have to have been abandoned a year in the past at the most. The capture scenes are lame and we are to believe these things can design elaborate traps that snare the human’s by the foot and pull them high up into the trees. Lets just skip everything and get to the end. The closing action involves lead actress Jewel Staite (as Liz) in a cave with the blind beasts stalking her. The monsters seem more blind at times than others and seem to have no hieghtened sense of sound or hearing as they sniff her from inches away. Her final escape is one of the most drawn out and painful endings I have ever seen, where she just sits on the beach reflecting on who knows what for way too long. Look, I could go on more but I think you may get the idea. I could describe some of the other characters in more detail but I do not see why I should do that. This movie does not deserve my time and energy in the state of mind I am in. Before going I will give two reasons I came to literally loathe this film by the time it was all over.

One was the “making of” special feature with director Jorge Ihle and cast and crew talking about the film. They really took this thing seriously and at one point some one makes a comment about there being some stuff in the movie that has never been seen before on film. That is a paraphrase. But my reaction is amazement at the lunacy of the remark. This film is nothing but unoriginal ideas and production. They go on raving in the special feature about the monster make up and show the performers perfecting their monster gestures and grimaces. Jeesh. These things are not that great. Okay, better than The Creature from Boggy Creek, I’ll say that, but nothing special at all. And last I will give you a special reason I hate this film, and it may sound strange but I think this affected me more than the bad acting and bad dialog and bad lighting and camera angles. Some times in a film a certain scene comes along, nay, intrudes rudely and vulgarly upon my psyche, from which there is no return for me. After such a scene the film is lost and the closer to the beginning of the film such a scene happens the worse the experience for me since I either stop watching the film (as is often the case) or I continue on, as I did in this one.

What scene could I be talking about? What could so adversely affect a jaded horror movie watcher who has seen tons of cheap exploitation and graphic gore films without flinching? Well not long after the group has been on the beach Liz leaves her asshole boyfriend Peter to be alone and relieve herself. To tinkle. She goes off to a quiet stop and begins to pee and this in itself is no big deal though the scene is really pointless. However the real problem is that as she is peeing we are treated to the cheap sound of her farting. Yes. Farting. Farting as she pees! Was this added later as a joke? What does this add to anything? How does this help develop the character of the only semi-decent person in the film? Do we even need to witness her pissing in the first place since nothing else in the scene happens much less listen to her make a weird fart noise as she does it. It is a stupid and cheap shot and that is about the level this movie maintains from beginning to end. A total waste of time.

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