Not Forgotten

"Not Forgotten" satisfies as a solidly crafted and persuasively acted thriller that relies more on dark secrets than black magic.

With: Simon Baker, Paz Vega, Michael Delorenzo, Chloe Moretz, Ken Davitian, Claire Forlani, Gedde Watanabe.

Despite teasing hints of supernatural influences throughout much of the storyline, “Not Forgotten” satisfies as a solidly crafted and persuasively acted thriller that relies more on dark secrets than black magic. Given Simon Baker’s newly re-elevated profile thanks to the hit CBS series “The Mentalist,” this indie effort should provide sufficient marquee allure to ensure it reaches receptive auds in homevid and cable venues.

Baker brings appropriate shadings of intensity to his portrayal of Jack Bishop, a successful businessman in a Tex-Mex border city who’s driven to extremes after Toby (Chloe Moretz), his beloved 11-year-old daughter, disappears during soccer practice and is presumed kidnapped. Amaya (Paz Vega) — Jack’s wife, Toby’s stepmother — urges Jack to seek guidance from an aged “witch” of the notorious Santa Muerte cult. But Jack keeps his own council while following a trail through the mean streets of Acuna, Mexico, gradually revealing he’s not quite the Mr. Nice Guy he initially appears. Helmer and co-scripter Dror Soref adroitly doles out bits and pieces of Jack’s violent past to ratchet up suspense while only occasionally straining credibility with dubious plot twists. Tech values are pro.

Not Forgotten

Production: A Skyline Pictures/Z Entertainment/Myriad Pictures production in association with Blue Ridge Finance and Protege Finance. Produced by Donald Zuckerman, Dror Soref. Executive producers, Michelle Seward, Kirk D'Amico, Alan Landau, Jamie Beardsley, Walter Josten, Jeff Geoffray, Howard Behar. Co-producers, Frederick Johntz, Shea Kammer, Jefferson Langley. Directed by Dror Soref. Screenplay, Tomas Romero, Soref.

Crew: Camera (Deluxe color), Steven Bernstein; editor, Martin Hunter; music, Mark Isham, Cynthia O'Connor; music supervisors, Peter Afterman, Alison Litton; production designer, Craig Stearns; costume designer, Deborah Everton. Reviewed on DVD, Houston, Jan. 14, 2009. (At Slamdance Film Festival – Special Screening.) Running time: 97 MIN.

With: With: Simon Baker, Paz Vega, Michael Delorenzo, Chloe Moretz, Ken Davitian, Claire Forlani, Gedde Watanabe.

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