I kept avoiding this one on the Netflix cue, and I’m not entirely sure why. Perhaps it sounded overly adolescent? But after reading an enthusiastic review at Horror Movie A Day (horror-movie-a-day.blogspot.com), I decided to pull the trigger. I’m glad I did, because Forget Me Not is an absorbing film that pivots gracefully from a story of childhood betrayal into a gripping revenge-from-beyond thriller.

Sandy (Carly Schroeder) is the smartest, hottest, and most popular girl in school. She and her brother Eli (Cody Linley) are both going to Stanford on academic scholarships. Along with their sock drawer of goofy friends and lovers (slightly better than stock-character teens) they engage in some post-graduation drinking, smoking, and screwing, before deciding to hit the graveyard for one final game of “Ghost.” It’s like hide-and-seek except if the person designated as the ghost finds you, you become a ghost too. Last one alive wins.

The seemingly innocent game opens up a nasty can of worms from their past about a cruel prank they once played on orphan girl Angela years before during a game. And when Sandy’s friends start dying, she’s only one who can remember that they ever existed at all. As her circle of friends becomes smaller and smaller, Sandy’s enviable life gets progressively crappier. Her now deceased friends return from the grave as shimmying, contorting demons that look a bit like dancing Michael Jacksons. Moral of the story: Don’t play vicious pranks on orphans.

Forget Me Not is a very limber horror tale. When the group turns on orphan girl Angela, it’s really heart-wrenching, but totally believable. Who doesn’t have an episode from childhood where a new, cool group of friends becomes more important than someone whom circumstances threw you together with? Remember the Seinfeld episode when Jerry has to break up with an odious chum from childhood because the only reason they were friends in the first place was because the kid had a ping-pong table? It’s a morality play that loudly warns against even the most casual cruelty, as it can come back and bite us (painfully) on the ass. And “youthful indiscretions” are not excused.

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