The Forsaken Review
By Max Messier
Reworking an old genre is one evil beast of burden. It takes a skilled scriptwriter and a clever director to make a tired genre plausible once again. Alas, both the writer and the director fail miserably with the forgettable vampire farce The Forsaken -- an annoying one-two-three punch of crappy acting, shoddy scriptwriting, and poor direction.
Sean (Kerr Smith), a struggling film editor for a B-movie studio, heads out onto the road from LA to deliver a vintage Mercedes and attend his sister's wedding in Florida. Along the way, he picks up Nick (Brendan Fehr), a hitchhiker with a lame beard who sweats profusely and holds a hidden agenda. During a rest stop, Sean and Nick pick up a dazed girl named Megan (Izabella Miko), an apparent vampire victim who was left for dead by a nightcrawler gang roaming the countryside.
Sean then discovers that Nick is a Hunter (that's with a capital H) who is stalking a group of vampires called "bloodletters" because he has been "infected" by their leader (Johnathon Schaech) and must kill the leader in order to "destroy the source of the origin" and regain his health. The girl, in turn, bites Sean accidentally and Sean becomes infected as well. In order to track the gang, the boys use the girl as a homing beacon because the virus is "telekinetic." This then puts Sean and Nick in a race against time to stop each of their slow transformations into a bloodletter. And so on. Basically, it's a ridiculous cross between John Carpenter's Vampires and Near Dark.
Still there was hope. It sounds way cheesy but it could have worked. Near Dark and The Addiction are near perfect examples of vampire films successfully re-working their genre in order to create something new. The main flaw of The Forsaken is that it develops a curious premise but never delivers the goods. The idea of vampirism as a blood disease was made famous with the Wesley Snipes ultra-cool Blade, and its further exploitation could have been a strong plot point for The Forsaken. Too bad its execution and believability turn out as lame as a Tom Arnold workout video.
Kerr Smith and Brendan Fehr carry decent star chemistry but their acting can't seem to reach beyond the scope of their TV roles in Dawson's Creek and Roswell. Johnathon Schaech (a dazed Peter Gallagher without the big eyebrows) and his character Kit, the leader of the vampire gang, is boring and uninteresting. And even the vampire "gang" turns out to be all of four people -- including two chicks in tight clothes who never have decent lines except, "Where's the party at?" and, "You guys need some help," plus a semi-retarded guy who drives them around. Ooooooooh, now that's really scary.
Facts and Figures
In Theaters: Friday 27th April 2001
Distributed by: Screen Gems
Production compaines: Sony Pictures Entertainment, Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment, Egmont Film, Screen Gems
Rotten Tomatoes: 7%
Fresh: 4 Rotten: 50
Cast & Crew