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The Forsaken
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The Forsaken (2001)

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Plot Summary:
"Sean (Kerr Smith) is driving cross-country to deliver a vintage Mercedes and attend his sister's wedding when he picks up a hitchhiker, Nick (Brendan Fehr), who just happens to be a vampire hunter, tracking down a group of youthful vampires that feed on unwary travelers. As the plot thickens, they run into Megan, (Isabella Miko) who has been left for dead by the vampires. As they use her as a lure for the vampires, Sean becomes attracted to her. Further complications ensue when Sean is infected with the vampire virus. He, Megan and Nick must race against time to kill the vampire leader (Jonathon Schaech) to stop Sean from becoming one of the undead."

Reviewer: John Dedeke @horrorasylum
Review Date: 31 October 2001 My Rating: out of 5


# When you watch a movie and the rest of the audience banters throughout the entire thing, it's usually a sign of one of two things: , the audiences is really having a good time at the movie, and this conversation is an enhancement of this shared fun; or , the movie is so boring that the audience has no choice but to talk in order to keep themselves entertained.

Sadly, audiences viewing The Forsaken are more likely to find themselves in the second category rather than the first. A modern mix of elements from Near Dark and The Lost Boys, The Forsaken is nowhere near as good (or even interesting) as either of its predecessors, and fails to deliver much more than the slightest superficial satisfaction, though not through lack of trying.

The Forsaken is a movie torn between contradictions, and while contrast can sometime liven up a film, the contradictions in The Forsaken hinder rather than help. For every nice shot we see, there are a few uninspired images. For every decent line of dialogue, a dozen cliched lines are used. And for every inventive twist on the vampire legend the film makes, it follows up by employing numerous tired genre conventions we've seen again and again and again. While the notion of vampirism as a virus is fairly original, the vampires themselves are stock characters copied straight out of other movies. Despite the head vampire's supposedly ancient origin, he comes across no differently than any of the 'young' vampires in the flick.

Those problems don't even include the logical shortcomings present in the film. Few plot points (or any importance, anyway) are explained, and even those that are somewhat explained lack cohesion. For instance, Nick tells Sean that certain drugs can keep the vampire virus in-check in those who have not yet turned completely. Yet throughout the film the drugs inexplicably don't work for some characters, while others seem to be totally fine without even taking them! Then there's the number of subplots that the film introduces, only to immediately drop without developing them.

There are some good points to The Forsaken, though few and far between. There's plenty of blood, and a number of brutal scenes, but even these are not without fault. It's often hard to tell exactly what is happening to someone, because the minute blood starts to spill, the camera starts to shake and everything gets blurry!

Interestingly, the door is left open for a sequel, in the vain hope that someone watching The Forsaken would have any interest in a continuing story. Unfortunately for the makers of The Forsaken, it's not likely such interest exists for a film that manages to rip off not only the themes and style of Near Dark and The Lost Boys, but lifts ENTIRE SCENES from those movies. Now there's really nothing wrong with trying to make a modern-day Near Dark; but if you're going to do it, you should do it well. A boring vampire film might as well not be a vampire film at all.

Though it could have been much, much worse, The Forsaken lacks anything really substantial for a horror viewer to enjoy. The blood is there, but you'll have to have a keen eye to see much of it, and for those not interested in gore, there's hardly anything else in the picture to enjoy. It might not play so poorly on video, but in terms of theatrical vampire movies, The Forsaken 'sucks.'

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