The Forsaken

January 28, 2012 8 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Sean (Kerr Smith) wants to attend his sister’s wedding across the country, but has been unable to gain the services a car, so he is sort of stuck. But when the chance comes to work as a driver-for-hire, Sean leaps at the invitation and agrees to drive a BMW to Miami, which nets him some cash, as well as a ride to his sister’s nuptials. All he has to do is make the long drive and collect the funds, but no matter what, he is told not to pick up hitchhikers and not to miss the deadline, or else the consequences could be severe. His trek starts off well enough, but soon a flat slows him down and as it turns out, this event will change his life forever. At a diner nearby, he meets a hitchhiker named Nick (Brendan Fehr) and since cash is short, Sean agrees to let him ride in exchange for gas money and such. The two soon have a run in with some mysterious people in need of a jump, whose car Sean has seen before, but the folks deny having been in the town before. So after the jump, the two find a hotel and settle down, but end up with a third member, in the form of a panicked young woman, Megan (Izabella Miko). What strange forces are at work in these events and will Sean’s venture to Miami turn into a full fledged supernatural experience?

After the deluge of overly hip, self aware horror pictures in recent years, I’ve been wanting a more straight forward genre release, even if a less than classic one. The Forsaken is not a superb horror movie by any means, but is a good one and when compared to the other horror options issued these days, it looks even better by the second. It does have a hot young cast, but lacks the self aware, pretentious nature of most modern horror, which is a breath of much needed fresh air, I think. The Forsaken spins a fast paced, well planned vampire tale, complete with a kick ass vampire hunter, a charismatic lead vampire, buckets of blood, and even some naked flesh, all of which are most welcome. I was very pleased with the amounts of gore and nudity, as even horror movies these days are often too politically correct to pile on either of those elements. The writing is flawed, but solid enough and the cast is quite good also, much better than expected, I think. This movie is a must see for vampire lovers & horror fans and since Columbia has issued a very impressive package here, I think a rental is in order for some, but a purchase would be a good choice as well.

I think the most memorable role here is played by Brendan Fehr, who takes on the part of the vampire hunter, Nick. His performance is not too noteworthy in terms of traditional acting, but he does turn in a solid effort in most respects. He is also given a lot of the film’s better lines and as such, his role is more entertaining than the others. I do think Fehr is shaky when he has to deliver extended sets of lines, but he does well enough and in the end, more than fulfills the basics needs of his role. You can also see Fehr in such films as Disturbing Behavior, Final Destination, and Christina’s House, as well as the television series Roswell. The cast also includes Johnathan Schaech (The Doom Generation, That Thing You Do), Izabella Miko (Coyote Ugly, Long Live Love), Kerr Smith (Tv’s Dawson’s Creek, Final Destination), Phina Oruche (Tv’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and Simon Rex (Unleashed, Shriek).

Video: How does it look?

The Forsaken is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, with a full frame edition included on the disc’s flip side. This is a very well done visual presentation, even if some small flaws do surface at times. As this is a dark movie in terms of visuals, contrast is vital to the visual scheme and for the most part, black levels are on the mark here. But in a few scenes, I saw some grain present and while not a serious problem, it is worth mentioning in this review. No issues with colors though, as the hues look bold and dead on, especially those wonderful reds, which we see a lot of in this flick. In the end, the small errors don’t impact the transfer much and as such, I am giving this one a rather high score, which it more than deserves.

Audio: How does it sound?

The included Dolby Digital 5.1 track is a great one, with only a couple flawed instances keeping the score down a shade. All of the speakers get a workout with this track, thanks to a hard rock soundtrack and a lot of impact sound effects, all of which are presented to near perfection in this terrific mix. The surrounds are used almost all the time once the tension kicks in, but the material is still natural in tone, so no gimmicky sound to be heard here. I did notice a couple spots where dialogue is a little hard to understand, but on the whole, the vocals are flawless in terms of clarity and volume. This disc also includes a 2.0 surround option, as well as subtitles in English, French, Chinese, Korean, Thai, should you need those.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This release is not a full fledged special edition, but it has been fitted with some cool supplements, to be sure. The main draw is an audio commentary track with writer/director J.S. Cardone, who provides a laid back, but informative session. Cardone talks about how he managed to keep the film under budget, his thoughts on the material, as well as various other behind the scenes topics and such. All in all, one of the better tracks I’ve spun of late and as such, I think fans should be sure to give it a listen. This disc also includes two brief featurettes, some talent files, three deleted sequences, and the film’s theatrical trailer.

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