Three knights are traveling back home after a long journey, and are less than a day’s trek to their destination. But on a stopover in the forest they come across a long forgotten enemy. Alone and outnumbered, they must fight their way to freedom if they hope to make it out alive.
The Forgotten is a fantasy/horror short from 2020 (not to be confused with the feature film of the same name from 2004). This is likely the only film I watched that actually came out in the entirety of 2020 and it was the winner of the Award of Excellence and Best Actor award at the Global Shorts in Los Angeles. Of course, not having seen all of the other shorts up for consideration at such a show, I cannot attest to the merit of such honors. All I can say is that I walked away from the story…shall we say, less than enthused.
Of course, that isn’t to say that the movie is in any way bad. It’s not. The production values on this appear to be quite high, especially for a film that was likely made on less than 10k. The costuming and cinematography are both excellent, and the choreography isn’t half bad either. Even the increasingly foreboding atmosphere is on point. Everything looks crisp and clear and well defined, so visually speaking, I think you’d be hard pressed to find much to complain about.
What didn’t really grip me were the characters and the dialogue. Or I guess I should say ‘most of the characters.’ I felt the three knights just weren’t particularly gripping. The short does try to establish relationships between the characters, but at 13-minutes, it’s just too short to build much of a foundation. And the dialogue, while serviceable, wasn’t as sharp as it clearly intended to be. The one character that I did find interesting, ironically enough, was the Forest Witch, who doesn’t have a single line of dialogue. In fact, she does little more than stand around ominously, but it was her and her backstory I wanted to learn more about, not the knights.
All in all, The Forgotten is a fine short that looks great but feels very forgettable. It comes across less like an attempt at acting and more like a group of cosplayers just went out one day and decided to make a movie. And while it does have decent acting and manages to avoid the easy pitfall of many fantasy pieces by over expounding on backstory and needless exposition, the lack of any real interest in the main characters works against it. If you like knight-era fantasy tales, then this could be an interesting watch. But for most everyone else it will likely garner little more than a shrug.
The Forgotten is available for streaming on Amazon.