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Jenelle Lee Vela
Sean is driving cross-country to deliver a vintage Mercedes and attend his sister's wedding when he picks up hitchhiker Nick, who just happens to be a vampire hunter, tracking down a group of youthful vampires who feed on unwary travelers. They run into Megan, who has been left for dead by the vampires. As they use her as a lure for the vampires, Sean becomes attracted to her. After Sean is infected with the vampire virus, he, Megan and Nick must race against time to kill the vampire leader Kit to stop Sean from becoming one of the undead. Written by
Greg Bulmash <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Forsaken opened here (the UK) yesterday with very little fanfare or publicity. Not being a big vampire movie fan, I went to see the film more out of curiosity than anything else. I was pleasantly surprised. The picture, written and directed by J S Cardone, attempts to drag the vampire film kicking and screaming into the twenty-first century. Of course, this in itself is nothing new. Over the past few years we have endured a number of films that mix the standard bloodsucking fare with the more modern way of life, so much so the collective movies have spawned their own sub-genre. Cardone's film stands out, though. More subtle than 'From Dusk Till Dawn' and a hell of a lot more convincing than last year's 'Dracula 2000', The Forsaken unfolds with a po-faced seriousness often lacking in the modern horror film. So much so that Cardone's film emerges as a dirty, dark, grubby little feature which mercifully eschews ironic, post-modern banter and throw-away comedy lines in favor of a sustained and bleak atmosphere. The film has many strong points. Despite both leading men coming from successful teen-oriantated television shows (Kerr Smith from 'Dawson's Creek' and Brendan Fehr from 'Roswell'), The Forsaken never feels like a teen horror movie. It is rough and unpolished, dark and mean.The cast are solid. Smith makes for a sympathetic hero and Fehr convinces as a man with a mission. Schaech steals the picture, though, as the head honcho. Looking a lot older than I suspect he actually is, complete with a grey wisp in his hair, Schaech wanders through the film with an air of quiet menace that serves the picture well. His jagged, sculptured face tells a thousand stories and he restrains himself from overplaying. One interesting fact about the movie is that, as far as I am aware, there are no shots of glaring fangs in the movie, no sharp teeth. The only 'vampirism' I can recall seeing were Schaech's elongated finger nails. Fresh.
Of course the film is not perfect. It is littered with sudden outbursts of loud, obnoxious songs obviously placed to market the soundtrack album. Which is a shame, because the score, when heard, is really rather good. Schaech is under-used, and the gimmick editing employed to signify his murderous rampaging is confusing and redundant. The film will not be to everyone's taste. Too off-the-beaten-track for mainstream audiences and not enough splatter for the gore-hounds, the film is left stuck somewhere in between. The film also contains a number of misjudged scenes that border on being needlessly nasty and vile. The killing of a state trooper is particularly grim. But these are minor gripes.
The Forsaken is a good film that, I suspect, will be loved or loathed by anyone who takes the time to watch it. I loved it.
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