By Susan Siniawsky
No one who enters a battlefield comes out exactly the same. Even if a soldier’s body comes out of war unscathed, his mind will certainly be altered in some manner. Based on a true story, Paul Bright’s thriller Forgotten Hero focuses on young Iraq war veteran Trevor (Matthew Bostrom).
We first see Trevor on a rainy Oregon day, homeless and friendless except for his dog. He stands on a street corner holding a cardboard sign, the type that’s become all too familiar in the past few years: “Homeless Vet – anything helps.” If that were not indignity enough, his identification is stolen, he gets hassled by the police, and his dog’s true owners re-claim their pet. Taking pity on him, the dog’s owners Chloe (Heather Liddycoat) and Shawn (Patrick D. Green), invite Trevor to warm up and have a hot meal at their home in the mountains.
The other couple in this back-to-the-land mini-commune Mason (Stewart Bennett) and Anna (Jasmin Savoy Brown) aren’t so thrilled with Trevor’s arrival. Tempers fray and relationships are tested when weather conditions prevent Trevor from moving on. He eventually ingratiates himself to the household by doing his fair share of the work, and becomes even more valuable when he confronts those suspected of stealing from the commune’s food stores. With her husband’s blessing, Chloe and Trevor develop a closer relationship, though Mason continues to harbor doubts about the stranger.
The stunningly photographed Cascade Mountains serve as the perfect backdrop to the events that unfold. The seemingly endless rain and the isolation of the little house on the mountain create enough of a sense of claustrophobia to make anyone break, let alone a man suffering from PTSD. Tension on the mountaintop builds to a suspenseful and unexpected climax.
Mr. Bright has crafted a well-paced thriller that exceeded my expectations. The mystery surrounding Trevor’s true identity, the plot twists and disclosures, and the competent performances make Forgotten Hero a worthwhile watch.
Forgotten Hero is available on Amazon Instant Video.