The Forsaken (2001) Poster

(2001)

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Not bad, but not great!
Christopher Smith21 June 2001
While most of the reviews were negative, this review is a positive one since I am a sucker (no pun intended) for vampire tales. THE FORSAKEN is a throwback to such 1980s classics as THE LOST BOYS, NEAR DARK, and THE HITCHER. While it's not nearly as good as those three flicks, it certainly is an interesting and occasionally intriguing picture. Unlike most teen horror films that have come out in the past five years, it is smart, original, and is actually scary at times. It's a fun horror movie that isn't perfect, yet still worth watching for its somewhat new take on the vampire tale. However, one can't help but get the feeling that THE FORSAKEN could have been so much more and it might have been had it not been heavily edited before its release due to the political climate at the time. Something tells me prior to being edited to death by the studio, THE FORSAKEN was something special. There are moments where one can see a better movie in the mix. Hopefully one day there will be a director's cut so audiences can see what J.S. Cardone originally intended the film to be like. I give it 5/10. It's not bad, though it's not great.
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Good, dark sub-genre flick
DB-08-DB8 September 2001
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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an older user's review
Patrick-1473 May 2001
SUMMARY: B-movie. Men under 30 who consider themselves outsiders will dig this road trip to Hell. Others, pick another film.

WHY I SAW IT: I'm too old for this film, but the young ladies in my local "Roswell" fan club wanted to see Brenden Fehr ("Roswell", "Final Destination") and Kerr Smith ("Dawson's Creek", "Final Destination"). WB fans, watch for the cameo by Sara Downing ("Courtney Banks" on "Roswell" and star of the upcoming TV series "Dead Last").

THE STORY: Ambitious, dutiful Sean is paid to drive a Mercedes sports car from L.A. to Miami. In this road movie, he encounters quirky characters in the deserts, canyons and plains of the Southwest. The pace picks up when he meets cynical slacker Nick and they rescue traumatized beauty Megan. The reluctant alliance of these mismatched people anchors the story as events go from disturbing to terrifying.

IDEA CONTENT: None of the common Hollywood refusal to recognize evil as writer/director J.S.Cardone pits ordinary guys against vampires who once were human cowards who "saved their lives" by becoming demons. Even more loathsome are the human criminals who serve the vampires and disguise their crimes as those of serial killers. News-junkies will be reminded of American and Russian politicians who pose as friends of the common people. With their organized-crime partners, they trash the economy and society while putting the blame on "selfish consumers" and "greedy businessmen". Those who know mythology will recognize the classic sequence of Ominous Foreshadowing, Leaving Home, Wilderness Journey, Crisis of Decision, the Mighty Action, and Personal Transformation.

ESTHETICS: Slightly-flawed, down-to-earth script skillfully alternates horror with humor, terror with sexiness. Well-chosen music. Several beautiful actresses.

DIRECTION: Downplays charisma in favor of realistic performances from well-cast actors.

EDITING: Muffled sound in one scene. Well-paced, well-cut action. The night chase by two carloads of vampires stands out.

WHY IT'S RATED "R": Four-letter words. Topless and nude starlets. Merciless bloody violence, not graphic enough for the splatterfans.

MY VOTE: For this subgenre and intended audience, 8 on a scale of 10.
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Kerr....
Brad Clarke7 July 2003
I'm not a fan of Dawsons Creek, by that I mean I never got to see it but if I can ever watch it I will, but I have heard of Kerr Smith and it was the only reason I watched this movie. What I found, however was actually a really good and in parts scary, sexy, vampire movie. People say it's not original, I think it is. The vampire lore has been modernised (modernized) very well in certain tv shows, but Forsaken Desert Vampires really did scare me, and I felt something for the poor people who I felt were just like me in this horror nightmare being chased by vampires. If you dont like great acting, scary scenes, drama or great music than don't watch this movie, cause it has it all. Plus it has Kerr in a singlet and cars, what else do you need?? I was 17 when I first saw it, and think it's great for people in and around that age bracket.
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2/10
gouge your eyes out before entering the theater
windawg129 April 2001
This movie is pure excrement. I thought I was watching a very bad episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Even worse, I found myself in a movie theater which meant that I couldn't change the channel. The movie tries to redefine the vampire elements, but instead poorly churns out the same old story. No one will care for its uninspired plot or irritating characters. Pointing out all of the films logical flaws wasn't even fun. Instead, it made the experience even more excruciating. This film is definitely up there with U.S. Seals as one of the most painful movies I have ever watched. The original From Dusk Till Dawn had more vampire action in a fraction of its second half than this abomination. If you want to watch a film about vampires, pick any vampire movie except this.
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5/10
It's an alright film, nothing special, nothing scary, just wanna be Lost Boys in the hot deserts
Kristine13 August 2001
Gosh, I remember seeing this movie when it was released in the theaters, a friend from school and I both are just the biggest vampire movie fans you'll meet. You name the vampire movie, I've probably seen it or at least have heard of it. So we naturally saw the trailer for The Forsaken and didn't even hesitate to see this movie, it just looked so awesome. Ever since The Lost Boys, we haven't had a really good teenage vampire movie that could be a new classic for my generation… well, sadly this failed. Now honestly it's not a horrible movie, but it just didn't thrill me. The story isn't anything special and the cast is pretty forgettable, I'm not digging the "make up" effects they had considering these "vampires" didn't have any fangs at all, but I didn't feel like my time was totally wasted.

Sean is driving cross country to his sister's wedding when he picks up Nick, a hitchhiker who happens to be a vampire hunter hunting a group of vampires led by Kit, one of the Forsaken. The Forsaken are a group of French Knights that during the First Crusade made a pact with the demon Abbadon to live forever. Nick was bitten by a vampire but thanks to a drug cocktail the vampire virus is kept at bay. Nick is hunting this particular Forsaken: he believes him to be the one that his strain of the vampire virus is descended from and that if he kills him he will not eventually turn into a vampire. At first Sean is less than willing to indulge his new acquaintance, but then they find Megan, a girl Sean finds he is attracted to, bitten and left for dead by the vampires. Nick also proves he is telling the truth by killing a vampire, Teddy, by exposure to sunlight. When Sean is infected with the vampire virus, their only hope is to kill the vampire leader before it is too late.

The Forsaken is just alright movie, the reason I say that it didn't totally waste my time is because it did have a couple good scenes here and there. I thought that the scene where the guys and the girl go to the hotel room to find out if the girl was bitten by a vampire and get some sleep, then they see the vampires go into the room across from them was pretty intense. The vampires of the movie were pretty decent as villains, but Simon Rex as this sort of updated retarded Reinfield, it's like if Reinfield and Forrest Gump had a child, it'd be Simon Rex and he just didn't get enough character development for us to care at all about him. There are still things that need to be fixed with the script, but I wouldn't say this is a horrible movie, I would just say that you shouldn't go out of your way to see it.

5/10
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'B' movie
cristinanne29 September 2002
I just picked up this film while perusing the horror section at my local video store. The box states "...sexiest vampire movie since 'The Lost Boys'!".

The only things those two films have in common is that they're both aimed for a teen audience, both seem to have a 'token female', and both are rife with homoerotic subtext.

This film is, without a doubt, a 'B' movie. It is most definitely not the best vampire film I've ever seen, and it's not even the best 'B' vampire film I've seen. But if you go into it expecting a 'B' movie, you'll enjoy it. It's even better if you make fun of it a little, ala Mystery Science Theater 3000.

It wasn't a film I would buy, or even rent again. But as something to throw in on a cold, rainy night when I had nothing better to do? Enjoyable.
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Well...*spoilers*
Spacevixen2 January 2002
Warning: Spoilers
A b-rate horror movie that has vampires...the only reason it had a little more appeal was because it had Kerr Smith from Dawson's Creek and Brendan Fehr from Roswell...however i felt sorry for Izabella Miko. It seemed as if she was one of the characters and then when you watch the movie, she speaks twice and it is about 5 to 10 lines at the last 10 minutes of the movie. Instead she seems to be the expected blonde who runs around and screams. A fun movie, not that big on effects or plot line, it's fun hour and a half. But please don't go see this movie with any expectation of this being anything more but entertainment...so go see it, but take it for what it's entertainment value is, a fun movie.
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9/10
Loved it and plan to see it again.
unruhe4228 April 2001
I thought this movie was great. Didn't have too much of the mystical mumbo-jumbo, while still adhering to a lot of vampire lore. This movie, while similar to Blade and many other vampire movies, brings new blood to an old story. Let's face it. The vampire tale has been told about every new way possible. While it's true it's very gory, this one combines some of the old and some of the new for a unique affect.

That and the slashyness of it made my day.
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* * * out of 4.
brandonsites198125 May 2002
Young man (Kerr Smith) delievering a car to Florida picks up a hitchiker (Brandon Fehr) along the way who manages to get Smith mixed up and eventually bitten by a group of vampires.

Well casted horror film offers realistic performances, nice atmosphere, good editing, well chosen soundtrack, some interesting twists to vampire folklore, and one of the sexiest casts to appear in a horror film in quite some time.

Rated R; Graphic Violence, Nudity, Profanity, and Sexual Situations.
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