The Forsaken
dir-scr JS Cardone
with Kerr Smith, Brendan Fehr, Jonathon Schaech, Izabella Miko, Carrie Snodgress, Phina Oruche, Simon Rex, Marc Vann, AJ Buckley, Alexis Thorpe, Sara Downing, Matt Reid, FJ Flynn
release US 27.Apr.01; UK 7.Sep.01
Screen Gems 01/US 1h31
1 out of 5 stars
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E
The Hitcher meets Near Dark in this derivative vampire romp which is vaguely entertaining and scary, but ultimately just unnecessary. Sean (Smith) is driving from L.A. to Miami, delivering a vintage Mercedes and attending his sister's wedding. But in the middle of the desert he picks up Nick, a hitchhiker (Fehr) with a secret: He's hunting vampires. Namely a quartet of loud thugs led by Kit (Schaech). And when Sean and Nick pick up a delirious recent victim (Miko) as bait, things start to get rather grisly.

There's nothing overtly wrong about this film--it's efficiently made, written with a degree of wit and nicely played by a fresh, atypical cast--but for virtually every minute of its running time you simply wonder why anyone bothered making it. There's not a shred of original thinking here. It simply rehashes scenes and story elements from every vampire/desert thriller ever made. Why when a movie character drives across the American southwest do they never use the Interstate? No, they always take those desolate two-lane roads through the middle of nowhere, stopping in fleabag motels in creepy little towns where motorcycles are forever revving and rusted-out Dodge Chargers full of the undead are prowling the night. Ho hum! There's even a sudden lightening storm just in time for the big climactic sequence, which naturally involves hallowed ground and convenient shafts of sunlight. Cinematic junk food.
adult themes and situations, strong violence, language cert 18 31.Jul.01

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2001 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall

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