The Forsaken is a teen vampire movie. There have been many unremarkable teen horror movies out recently, so I entered the theatre to see this one with more than a few preconceived notions. In other words, I fully expected to see something along the lines of I Know Who You Bit Last Summer. To my great surprise, this film is nothing like the endless bloody stream of teen slasher flicks that have clogged cinemas for the past five years. The Forsaken takes a retro approach to the genre, and that, coupled with an original take on who and what vampires are, makes for quite an enjoyable evening of death and destruction.
The story centers on Sean, played by Kerr Smith, who has to drive across the United States to deliver a classic luxury car and attend his sister's wedding. He's instructed not to make any unnecessary stops, not to scratch the car, and above all, not to pick up hitchhikers. It's the classic set-up, and what follows is a road trip through the desert, straight to vampire central.
The entire concept of vampires is given a 21st century twist, which may upset the many bloodsucking purists out there, but by changing some of the rules, The Forsaken effectively distinguishes itself from other vampire movies. And, as we all know, one thing this genre should welcome is a nice fresh influx of new blood!
As for directing, I give credit to J.S. Cardone for his decision to ignore the popular music video style in favor of a more gritty approach. The only derivative scenes in the film are some very short flash-edits used to depict nightmarish visions and vampire feeding frenzies. Otherwise, the directing of The Forsaken is handled in a very straightforward, realistic way. As with all good storytellers, Cardone knows that a little genuine suspense can serve to terrify much better than any amount of gory imagery ever could.
The acting, however, is of a quality usually reserved for only the finest B-movies. Fortunately, this is exactly the quality and tone that The Forsaken is going for, so the results are once again successful.
If you're looking for a good, fun fright, and you're dead tired of all those Scream rip-offs, then this film may be just the ticket. Hurry though, for as the summer sun begins to rise, The Forsaken will soon disappear from theatres forever.