The Forsaken (2001)

Rating: D+

Dir: J.S. Cardone
Star: Brendan Fehr, Kerr Smith, Johnathon Schaech, Izabella Miko

Another sucky vampire flickWarning: The Forsaken contains actors from shows like Dawson’s Creek. If I’d known that before viewing, I probably wouldn’t have bothered, so figure it’s best to mention that kind of thing up front. Sean (Fehr) is driving across country to return a car and, despite warnings, picks up a hitch-hiker (Fehr). Naturally, he turns out to be a vampire hunter, seeking one of the original vamps from the time of the Crusades. The curse here is a disease, which can be slightly controlled with drugs, though it’s never explained why any illness can make its victims explode in sunlight. They pick up an infected girl and use her as bait, luring in the master and his clan, to a final stand.

As modern vampire movies go, it comes off as somewhat half-cocked: it tries to be scientific, with its talk of viruses and pharmaceuticals, but then, why can vampires only be killed on hallowed ground? And how does killing the source of your infection work as a cure? Cardone has an interesting sense of visual style (not least in the opening scene which has a blood-soaked blonde washing herself in the shower – totally gratuitous, but undeniably an attention grabber), yet overdoes both the editing and the AIDS metaphors. Otherwise, while competent enough, this borrows too much from the likes of Near Dark and The Lost Boys, which covered almost the same ground with greater impact. Maybe the script editor got distracted by the pretty boy/girl casting. Still, at least it was better than John Carpenter’s Vampires, and (slightly) less homoerotic than The Brotherhood