The Forgotten. Film Review

Director: Stephen Berrysea
Screenplay: Stephen Berrysea
Starring: David Eby, Luke Hatmaker, Ron Berrysea, Nomalanga Eniafe, Olivia Bishop
Certificate: 15
Format: DVD
Reviewed by Guy Adams

We live in an age when almost anyone can pick up an HD handheld camera and go out and shoot a movie. The old days of having to save up money to buy film stock, re-mortgaging the house just so you could take a shot at being the next George Romero are long gone. It’s a good thing. Of course, the downside is that sometimes I have to watch the results.

There are moments in THE FORGOTTEN where we suspect Stephen Berrysea may one day make a good director. It’s shot with a reasonable eye, competently edited and delivers a degree of verisimilitude. What Stephen Berrysea will never be, though, is a writer. The script, a story of game heroes on the hunt for a racist clan in a zombie-ridden post-apocalyptic America, is packed full of the unsayable, not that the selection of actors here — some of whom are great, some really not — don’t give it a game try.

The atmosphere Berrysea has managed to capture is also fatally wounded by the fact that the vast majority of the dialogue has been done as ADR (recorded after the fact in a studio rather than on location). ADR is common enough, a valuable tool for a director wanting to reclaim a scene where sound was an issue. Unfortunately, it’s often so clear that the actors are talking in a snug, enclosed sound booth rather than, say, a field (no sound filters and effects having been brought into play) that the result is a dislocating, off-putting experience and the final nail in Berrysea’s coffin.

American viewers know the movie as ZOMBIE WARZ – FALLS THE SHADOW, at least we’ve been saved that godawful ‘z’.