A road/vampire movie with teen leads, The Forsaken
feels a lot like a sexed-up pilot for a TV series. Kerr Smith takes a job driving a classic car from LA to Miami, with clear instructions that no harm should come to the wheels and he shouldn't pick up hitch-hikers. In the middle of nowhere he is manipulated into giving a lift to a drifting slacker (Brendan Fehr) who turns out to have been bitten by a vampire year or so back. Fehr is keeping the transformation into a blood-drinking monster under control with medication, but needs to destroy the master fiend who sired his attacker to effect a total cure. When Smith is nibbled by traumatised babe Isabella Miko, he is infected too and they all hare off to track down Kit (Jonathan Shaech), a medieval French knight currently cruising the backroads with a posse of minion-cum-killer associates.
Unlike Near Dark, from which it steals a lot, The Forsaken is pretty feeble in its re-imagining of the vampire myth: Shaech is just another pin-up pretty boy with highlit eyes who bungles his master villainy, while the very striking Phina Oruche (a black English model) is wasted in an eye-candy role as his nastiest disciple. Smith and Fehr do better in the traditionally weak hero parts, benefiting from snappy patter, but the plot keeps tripping over itself and the blood orgies and vampire combustions are third-hand.
On the DVD: The Forsaken comes to DVD with three tiny deleted scenes, two minimal featurettes, trailers, filmographies, and a dry but absorbing commentary track from director JS. Cardone. --Kim Newman
When cross-country driver Sean (Kerr Smith) picks up hitch-hiking vampire hunter Nick (Brendan Fehr) on a deserted stretch of road, he soon finds himself embroiled in a life-threatening battle with the bloodthirsty hordes of the teenage undead. The trouble begins when Sean and Nick come across vampire victim Megan (Izabella Miko) at a roadside diner; recently-infected and half-demented by terror, Megan is the boys' clue to the whereabouts of the juvenile bloodsuckers. But Sean soon falls in love with the young woman, and when he also becomes infected with the virus, the three of them must go in search of the age-old vampire whose teenage minions have caused the recent epidemic.