The latest in a neverending cycle of vampire flicks, "The Forsaken," a
modestly budgeted horror yarn written and directed by J.S. Cardone (1998's
"Outside Ozona"), is a low-rent entertainment with very little to recommend
it. Remarkably similar to 1987's "Near Dark," but lacking all hints of
emotional truth that the aforementioned film held, "The Forsaken" is the type
of forgettable item that will be relegated to the junk bin at video stores
worldwide--much sooner than you might think.
Sean (Kerr Smith), an assistant editor of trailers for a Troma-like movie
studio, desperately wants to put in an appearance at his sister's wedding in
Miami. Traveling cross country on the dusty backroads of the midwest, he
makes a mistake in picking up Nick (Brendan Fehr), a hitchhiking drifter with
a secret. It seems that Nick is a vampire hunter looking for Kit (Johnathon
Schaech), one of the last remaining vampire knights whose death will stand as
the savior for everyone who has been infected by him, but hasn't crossed over
yet. After Sean is accidentally bitten, he is forced to aid in Nick's
mission, or risk becoming a vampire himself.
"The Forsaken" offers nothing new to the vampire legend (even the
none-too-subtle parallels with the AIDS virus seem dated), nor does it spark
overwhelming interest at any point. Following an intriguing, successfully
creepy and stylish opening twenty minutes, it dissolves into a hackneyed
chase movie through the desert with our protagonists always just one step
ahead of the malevolent Kit, his sexy companion Cym (Phina Oruche), and their
"day driver," Pen (Simon Rex). The problem is, there is no creativity to any
of it, and as the plot developments gradually arise as the film presses on,
it grows more and more preposterous.
The performances are workmanlike, but nothing special. In a supporting role,
Izabella Miko (2000's "Coyote Ugly"), as Megan, a young girl recently bitten
by Kit whom Sean and Nick sort of adopt along the way, does nothing but look
drugged out and show off her flesh. She doesn't even utter a line of dialogue
until the finale, where she all of a sudden can't seem to shut up for two
seconds. The writing and directing by J.S. Cardone is, likewise, passable,
but uninspired. And you can't help but notice how visually dark the movie
looks, no doubt to hide the fact that there wasn't a lot of money to be spent
on the make-up and special effects.
When it all comes down to it, "The Forsaken" has little going for it. As a
horror movie, it is never scary. As a vampire film, its originality is nil.
And as an action pic, you could do better with 1996's far superior "From Dusk
Till Dawn," which at least was exciting. Sound like a movie worth spending
hard-earned cash for? Didn't think so.
Copyright © 2001 Dustin Putman