|Submitted by Zane W. Olesen |
(Dec 12, 2002)
Had a Bad O-Ring
This movie falls into the category, “it could have been pretty bad but wasn’t.” “The Forsaken” has a pseudo-vampire plot that director/writer J. S. Cardone made an honest effort to make good on a relatively low budget.
With the latest fad of using filters to obtain washed-out colors and such, it is not immediately apparent “The Forsaken” had a limited budget. This was due in part, to the methodical directing pace in the beginning half of the movie and the excellent acting by relative unknowns, Kerr Smith as Sean and Brendan Fehr as Nick.
When I say Cardone’s directing was methodical, I do not mean boring. I think it’s important in vampire movies, to establish a credible structure for the story to operate in. “The Forsaken” takes the time to let the interaction of the two main characters, Sean and Nick, develop and mesh.
Movies in this genre generally waste no time in getting to the blood, guts and gore, and then as the movie progresses, they make some attempt at explaining the plot.
Both Smith and Fehr displayed some fine acting skills that fit very well within the context of the story. Their understated approach to their characters enhanced the plot, showing a contrasting charisma between them.
Sean, working as an editor doing movie trailers, is preparing to attend his sister’s wedding in Florida. In order to reduce travel expenses, he has undertaken the job of driving a vintage Mercedes across country and delivering it to it’s owner in Florida. A couple of rules are given by the shady chap who’s hired Sean for this. Number one is no hitch-hikers. Number two is don’t pick up any vampires! Just kidding on that last one.
Sean begins his cross-country drive and as vampire-movie-luck would have it, he has a blow out and has to spend the night in an out of the way motel. The next day, after getting the tire and rim fixed, an enigmatic hitchhiker, Nick, implores Sean for a ride. Reluctantly, Sean agrees when Nick offers to pay for gas.
Off Sean and Nick go. Over dinner Sean begins to learn that Nick has more than just a carefree outlook on life. Nick has a cynical and mysterious side that intrigues him.
In every horror flick there is some point when the hero has to explain the extraordinary events taking place. If the story is going to fall apart it usually happens here.
“The Forsaken” was handled relatively deftly at this critical point but only delayed the “shuttle explosion” until later, when the vampires decide to reveal themselves to a group of partiers. KaBOOM!
At that pivotal plot revelation, “The Forsaken” took a detour south for the remainder of the movie. I will say that as the wreckage of “The Forsaken” began it’s fall there was still some attempt by the actors Kerr Smith and Brendan Fehr to maintain a credible grip on the their characters.
What it boils down to is half of a good movie and fine acting by the two leads, Smith and Fehr. I have seen many other movies blow it worse in the second half. I’ll admit I’m somewhat harder on these styles of movies than most, and it is probable that “The Forsaken” will be successful with most fans of this genre.