The tales of Vampires have been chilling and delighting readers and viewers ever since Bram Stockers original novel, through the classic Dracula made famous by Bella Legosi, and the more modern “Interview with a Vampire”, and “Near Dark” There have even been films that have attempted to appeal to the teen audience by taking the classic Vampire Lore and blending them with modern elements and settings such as Joel Schumacher’s classic “The Lost Boys”
In the new film “The Forsaken”, Writer/Director J.S. Cardone, who has an established track record in direct to video horror films ranging from “Shadowzone” to The Slayer”, Tells the tale of Sean (Kerr Smith) who is on a cross-country road trip to attend his sister’s wedding. Sean is delivering an expensive car while enroute to the wedding and is looking forward to a well-deserved break from his job as a creator of horror film trailers. All is going well as Sean is driving the open roads with the top down soaking in the sun, when he does the one thing he was warned not to do; He picks up a hitchhiker named Nick (Brendan Fehr).
It does not take long for Nicks, trip to be transformed into a nightmare of bloodletting and Vampires. It seems that Nick is infected with a deadly ‘blood disease’ and has been tracking the people who gave him the disease while holding the progress of the disease off with a combination of medications. With each new delay brought on from a combination of car troubles, the Vampires, and a lost wallet, Sean is in jeopardy of missing his sister’s wedding. The issues are further complicated Sean and Nick pick up a dazed and frightened girl, Megan, who has been left for dead by the vampires. Unfortunately, Megan is not only a victim, but also human bait. Before long, Sean is infected and finally forces Nick to tell him everything he knows about the legend of the Forsaken. Nick informs Sean that the only cure for their ‘disease’ is to kill the vicious leader of the vampire gang, and thus starts a deadly race against time to kill the Forsaken before it is to late for Sean, Nick and Megan, before they join the unholy clan.
The film had a good start, as it was interesting to see Sean get pulled into a world that he had no control of and even less understanding of. However the look and pacing of the film left a lot to be desired as it seemed as if the film was planned to be a straight to video release and that the budget was very lean. Everything from the settings to the Vampires car had a very dirty and dismal look to it, as if the budget was blown on the Mercedes that Sean drove for most of the film. Phina Oruche was menacing as the films head Vampire but he seemed to be more of a thin construct of other previous Vampires and did not offer any insights into his history, motivation, or goals, he was simply there with the rest of his gang to look mean, and menace the characters in the film.
What started out as an intriguing twist on an old tale, soon became nothing more than “Dawsons Creek” meets ‘Dracula” where gore was substituted for a good story, and good acting.
2 stars out of 5