The Forsaken (2001)
Director: J.S. Cardone
Some dude that cuts trailers for the low budget film biz (Smith) is hired to drive a â€śMercedesâ€ť to Florida (he also wants to attend his sister's wedding when he gets thereâ€¦who cares). His trip is cut short when he picks up a shaggy looking drifter (Fehr) and vampires eventually get into the mix.
When the lights went down and Kerr Smith appeared onscreen, some giggly girl next to me exclaimed real loud: â€śOh my god, heâ€™s so hot!â€ť Thatâ€™s when I knew that I was the one who was about to be forsaken. Unfortunately for me, this tedious, boring movie didnâ€™t help me keep my attention away from the girlâ€™s constant babbling. You got it boyz and girlz, The Forsaken is pure crap!
Where do I begin? First off, the story is just a blatant rip off of â€śThe Hitcherâ€ť and â€śNear Darkâ€ť (two movies written by Eric Red ironically). The only original thing here is its new spin on the bloodsucking roots (it's like a virus and you can take pills for it). Apart from that, this one never steps out of the generic mold and its â€śoriginalâ€ť take on the legend actually works against it. If thereâ€™s one movie that needed crucifixes and garlic to liven things up, it's this one.
The major players donâ€™t help the film either. Talk about thin! Kerrâ€™s character is a bore (but he sure looks good in a tank top) and I really didnâ€™t buy Fehr as a vampire hunterâ€¦looks more like a garbage man to me. I will give Fehr this though: heâ€™s the only character in the film that has a personality and he kept me somewhat interested.
The vampires themselves are shamefully underdeveloped. I mean the lackey (Simon Rex) gets more screen time than Jonathan Schaech (Kit) and heâ€™s the damn leader!!! Whatâ€™s that all about? Schaech is the money! Put him in the damn movie!!!! I didnâ€™t care about the vamps one way or the other and thatâ€™s a shame cause I love villains. Schaech couldâ€™ve brought an edge to this film. He did the bad boy thang real well in â€śDoom Generationâ€ť and couldâ€™ve gone wild here too! Too bad the film doesnâ€™t even give him a chance. All he does here is look good in trendy wear.
On the action front, the film is very redundant. Thereâ€™s this traumatized broad (Izabella Miko) who doesnâ€™t talk for the whole film and all she does is try to escape the two leads (who are of course trying to help her). That got real tiresome. The car chases almost livened things up but after the second one they got very lifeless. Then thereâ€™s the murders that the vamps commit. The movie gives us good set ups but never puts out. What was that beach scene all about? I was expecting a carnage of the likes of the bar scene in â€śNear Darkâ€ť! No diceâ€¦the movie cheats its way out of it and gives us nathing. The other killings are also quite tame and very stale. Every time you think it's gonna get bloody good, they cut away from it or shake the camera real fast so u donâ€™t get to see anything. Very frustrating.
The movie ends with a choppy, badly shot finale thatâ€™s far from exciting or scary. They even leave the door open for a sequel (I didnâ€™t buy how that happened either)! YOU WISH! The whole time I was praying that this movie would get better. It didnâ€™t. I really wanted to like it! The Forsaken wound up being a big piece of shite. It just sits there and it stinks. And now that I think about it, even that giggly girl next to me was wrong! Kerr Smith isnâ€™t all thatâ€¦I donâ€™t care how tight is tank top is. Suck thisâ€¦
Every time mayhem happens, the director decides to shake the camera real fast. From what I could make out, someone gets their heart ripped outâ€¦actually thatâ€™s all I could make out. We do get a nice exploding head and some kool death by sunlight effects.
Kerr Smith (Sean) is a good actor but here he just bored me. Brendan Fehr (Nick) uses up all of his smug charm and comes out of this crap alive. Jonathan Schaech (Kit) is a great looking manâ€¦too bad his character is almost a damn cameo. At least he gets to quote â€śEnter Sandmanâ€ť by â€śMetallicaâ€ť. Simon Rex (Pen) does fine but his character got on my freaking nerves. Phina Orucheâ€™s (Cym) character also annoyed the crap out of me. Every time she talked, I wanted to yell "shut up"! I didnâ€™t buy her as a vampire for a second. Izabella Miko (Megan) doesnâ€™t talk until the end of the movie. Her traumatized shtick got real old after the first 15 minutes. Is Alexis Thorpe (Teddy) even in this movie? What a throwaway part!
T & A
Izabella Miko (Megan) shows off her tits 5 seconds in the flick and some dumb blonde in a car does the same. Finally we boyz get some action!
Whatâ€™s wrong with this guy? Heâ€™s never heard of the word payoff? He sets up these somewhat kool situations where the vampires get to wreak havoc and when it's time to get down and dirty, he goes the super quick cut way and shakes the camera so fast that you donâ€™t see squat. What a cheat! He also doesnâ€™t know shite about directing action sequences. The car chases are mostly boring and the finale is badly shot (dare I say badly edited too?). He sure knows how to film a sunrise thoughâ€¦wowâ€¦.
It's funny because the first half of the flick is all about selling the soundtrack. Rock song after rock song after rock song. The other half is all about the moody score. I wouldâ€™ve liked more of the score. Very unbalanced.
I had heard that the DVD would be the director's cut of the film (it was heavily edited in the cutting room for its theatrical release) but unfortunately it isn't the case. This is the theatrical version. Does the DVD compensate? Read on.
IMAGE: We can view the film in either Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1 ratio or Full Screen (Standard) - 1.33:1ratio.
I recommend you check it out in Widescreen to get all of the breathtaking scenery on your screen (basically the only good thing about this turd). The image is spotless, sharp and the colors really come out.
AUDIO: You can listen to the film in either Dolby Digital 5.1, or English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround). Either way the score and the heavy songs boom out of your speakers very clearly and almost makes you forget that you're watching a poseur piece of crap horror film.
EXTRAS: Lousy extras for a lousy movie? You bet!
Deleted scenes: We don't get anything juicy here. How about slapping in the cut gore scenes!!! Here's what we get instead.
Two guys driving (time: 1-2 minutes): This scene has Fehr (Sean) talk about the vampire "rules" and his past to Kerr (Nick). Blah. Outside diner/weird guy in house (time: 1-2 minutes): This scene consists of Fehr (Sean) and Kerr (Nick) talking in front of a diner and then goes on to have Fehr (Sean) walk up to a house, look through the window and ask some weird dude with a ripped face where the nearest church is. ZZZzzzz. Megan Confronts Kit (time: 1-2 minutes): This deleted scene is more interesting than the previous two. It has Miko (Megan) (who hardly talks for the whole film) shout at Shaechk (Kit) for making her a vampire. Shaechk (Kit) does some method acting with a gun and the scene occasionaly quick cuts to pretty scenery (of the sunset or rise). Should've kept this scene in the film for Miko's sakes.
Hardbody Co-Stars Featurette (~ 2 minutes): This dumbass featurette talks about the cars in the film (a "Mercedes" and a 1068 Dodge Charger) as if they were live actors...very tacky. And then it has Alexis Thorpe (Teddy) talk about her main stunt scene. Whatever.
Actor Profile: Brendan Fehr (~ 2 minutes) : This profile on Brendhan Ferh (Sean) has a corny "Teen Beat" like narration that made me groan. EXAMPLE: a car blows up on screen and the narrator says: "what's exploding these days is Brendan Fehr's career". Fuck me man! Fehr talks about his part while the narrator gives us a brief rundown of his career. The narrator also makes sure that we know that during his free time Fehr likes to walk his dog, play sports and catch up on his sleep (I'm serious). Teen girls will enjoy this featurette, others will shut the TV off and rent a real horror film.
DIRECTOR COMMENTARY (full-length): Here director JS Cardone talks in a very bland voice about what he wanted to do with the film, why he chose his cast, why he wanted a hip kool score, the look of the film and about shooting in the desert. He also mentions that he had to cut the film since it was made during the Presidential Elections (everybody is hard on violence then), comments on the Columbine incident and talks about the technical aspects of the film (how many frames a second what not). The commentary is informative but it has many dead moments where silence kicks in. This guy is no Paul Verhoeven that's fer sure!
THEATRICAL TRAILERS: We get trailers for The Forsaken, Bram Stokers Dracula, JC's Vampires, Hollow Man, JC's Ghost Of Mars.
If you missed the latest issue of â€śTeen Beatâ€ť you might want to catch this flick. But if youâ€™re a real horror fan, just do yourself a favor and rent â€śNear Darkâ€ť. It accomplishes everything The Forsaken fails at. "Dracula 2000" is a bona fide classic next to this garbageâ€¦ouchâ€¦
Here are some Jonathan Shaech quotes that explain a lot! Thanks to J.G.Dolin for sending this to me. The source is E-Online Movie Scoop. "There's tons of stuff taken out," says chief bloodsucker Johnathon Schaech with noticeable exasperation. "The stuff that would involve teens, sex and violence. They took all that out--all the fun stuff." "There was a huge problem with this coming out," he says, "between the ratings board and all the stuff the government's putting out about marketing violent films to teens. Then it was really supposed to be released last Friday, and that was Columbine's anniversary. So, they made it more quick, more today, more millennium-ish." About the DVD: "I think they're going to do a director's cut, which will be a lot of fun," he says. "An NC-17 cut."
Actress Izabella Miko was unused to the American southwestern climate and suffered from heat exhaustion at first.
Brendan Fehr was born on the 29 of October, 1977 in New Westminster, British Columbia.