A plodding supernatural thriller with hiccups of intensity and far too few gonzo flourishes, Not Forgotten is weighted down by obvious creative choices that mar what might have played out like a telenovela episode of Twin Peaks. In the U.S.-Mexican border town of Del Rio, Jack Bishop (Baker) lives peacefully with his Hispanic wife, Amaya (Vega), and Toby (Moretz), his young gringa daughter from a previous marriage. When menstrual blood on Toby’s bedsheets signals her emergence as a woman, the child turns moody and suddenly disappears altogether—which triggers the local police force to embark on a kidnapping manhunt. But Jack has his own suspects, including the shady characters of a sinister former life that included the back rooms of brothels and a death-obsessed religious sect.
Awash with images of masked women dipping their fingers in sangre and chanting Spanish incantations to La Santa Muerte, Dror Soref’s potboiler has the potential to amp up the creep factor and explore darker aspects of Tex-Mex mysticism. But the story pulls its punches, content to patch up narrative holes by repeating earlier shots and incessantly using flash-frames to create lowbrow suspense. A film that could have been memorably haunting is, sadly, all too forgettable.