Two gorgeous women find themselves caught in a net of red herrings in "Forgotten," from tyro femme helmer Alex Schmidt.

Two gorgeous women find themselves caught in a net of red herrings in “Forgotten,” from tyro femme helmer Alex Schmidt. Set in an atmospherically creepy Teuton fishing village, this horror-thriller combo tries to travel from its convincing setup to its surprisingly neat conclusion via a minefield of unnecessary, goodwill-draining twists, with the entire midsection more concerned with delivering a new curve every minute than keeping things grounded in a coherent universe. Genre fests and labels will sign on, though theatrical distribs might be harder to convince.

Severe-looking Clarissa (Mina Tander) overdoses on pills and finds that the ER worker looking after her, Hanna (Dutch thesp Laura de Boer, dubbed), is a childhood friend she used to go on vacation with. Cue a return to the foggy island of their youth with Hanna’s daughter (Lina Koehlert) for a girls-only sojourn that soon turns ugly, courtesy of regional legends (in husky v.o.), memories (in flashbacks), hints of the supernatural and the obligatory sinister locals. Schmidt’s got a talent for mood and composition, though thesping remains somewhat frigid and plotting contortionistic. The thunderous score gave the speakers a good workout at the screening caught.

Forgotten

Germany

Production

A Falcom Media release of a Wueste Film Ost production, in association with Wueste Film, Magnolia Filmproduktion, ZDF. (International sales: Beta Cinema, Oberhaching, Germany.) Produced by Yildiz Ozcan, Stefan Schubert, Ralph Schwingel. Co-producers, Babette Schroeder, Nina Bohlmann, Katharina Dufner. Directed by Alex Schmidt. Screenplay, Schmidt, Vaentin Mereutza.

Crew

Camera (color, HD, widescreen), Wedigo von Schultzendorff; editor, Andreas Radke; music, Marian Lux; production designer, Joerg Moehring; costume designer, Maria Schicker; sound (Dolby Digital), Benjamin Krbetschek; assistant director, Isabel Paul; casting, Deborah Congia, Karolina Matheis. Reviewed at Venice Film Festival (noncompeting), Aug. 31, 2012. Running time: 102 MIN.

With

Mina Tander, Laura de Boer, Lina Koehlert, Mia Kasalo, Katharina Thalbach, Max Riemelt, Greta Oceana Dethlefs, Alina Sophie Antoniadis, Clemens Schick, Thomas Sarbacher.

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