The Forsaken (film)

Last updated
The Forsaken
Forsakenposter.jpg
Theaterial release poster
Directed by J. S. Cardone
Produced byScott Einbinder
Carol Kottenbrook
Written byJ. S. Cardone
Starring Kerr Smith
Brendan Fehr
Izabella Miko
Phina Oruche
Simon Rex
Carrie Snodgrass
Johnathon Schaech
Music by Tim Jones
Johnny Lee Schell [1]
Cinematography Steven Bernstein
Edited by Norman Buckley
Distributed by Screen Gems
Release date
  • April 27, 2001 (2001-04-27)
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$15 million
Box office$8,704,851

The Forsaken is a 2001 American horror film written and directed by J. S. Cardone and distributed by Screen Gems. The film stars Kerr Smith, Brendan Fehr, Izabella Miko, and Jonathan Schaech. Conceived as a road movie with vampire hunters, the story follows a young film trailer editor on a cross-country business trip through the Arizona desert who picks up a shady hitchhiker and along the way encounters a disoriented young woman who's being stalked by a vampire cult.

Contents

Synopsis

Aspiring filmmaker Sean is working as a freelance driver to make ends meet. He's assigned to deliver an expensive Mercedes-Benz from Los Angeles all the way to its owner in Miami, which will also allow him to attend the wedding of his sister. He's given strict instructions not to damage the vehicle or pick up any hitchhikers.

Sean is driving cross country when he picks up Nick, a hitchhiker who happens to be a vampire hunter hunting a group of vampires led by one of the Forsaken—a group of knights who made a pact with the fallen angel Abaddon to live forever. Two of the Forsaken are located in the United States (including the one Nick is tracking, Kit). Nick was bitten and infected by a vampire but, thanks to an antiviral drug cocktail, the vampire virus is kept at bay. Each of the Forsaken carry a unique strain of vampirism; killing a Forsaken kills his entire bloodline and reverses the condition of anyone infected. Nick believes that if he kills Kit, he will be cured before he turns (as the drug cocktail eventually will lose effect). At first Sean is less than willing to indulge his new acquaintance; however, he is convinced after the two come across a disoriented young woman, Megan, at a diner, who was bitten by the vampires and left for dead. Nick also proves he is telling the truth by killing a vampire, Teddy, with exposure to sunlight.

Sean and Nick take Megan to their motel room, but she goes into a rage and bites Sean; they realize they must kill the Forsaken responsible to prevent Sean from turning. Forsaken can only be slain on hallowed ground, so the three head for a Spanish mission 60 miles away. They stop at a gas station where an old woman, Ina, lets them in. She shows them a newspaper connecting Megan to a bloodbath in Arizona; when Megan wakes up and is coherent enough to talk, she explains she was a victim of the vampires' bloodbath. Kit catches up to them and lays siege to the gas station.

Sean discovers a graveyard outside and Ina explains that it is an old Spanish graveyard that was never dug up, making the house hallowed ground and thus a suitable place to kill Kit. In the ensuing battle, Sean and Nick are injured. As Kit is about to kill Ina and Megan, Sean drives his car through the gas station wall and pins Kit to the wall, hoping to hold him there until the sun rises. Kit pushes the car, Sean shoots him, knocking him into a beam of sunlight. As Kit starts to combust, Sean, Nick, Megan, and Ina flee the gas station; Kit's explosive death ignites the gas. Sean and Megan are finally cured of vampirism; however, Nick is not cured as it turns out that the vampire who bit him is descended from the other Forsaken in the United States. Nick takes to the road to try to find and kill the other Forsaken, leaving a letter of thanks for Sean. Three months later, Sean catches up to him and insists on helping, having discovered that the Forsaken is probably in Denver. The two set off for Denver.

Cast

Themes

Contemporary critics of the film have noted a homoerotic subtext between the film's two central male characters. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] In a 2013 retrospective on the film, the publication Culture Crossfire said of the film: "Twelve years later, there’s nothing about The Forsaken that’s particularly memorable other than the fact that it’s an in-denial coming out tale that just happens to have vampires." [3] His Name is Death editor Albert Nowicki noted that the movie is full of phallic imagery and compared Schaech's villain to Chris Sarandon's vampiric character Jerry Dandrige from the 1985 horror comedy Fright Night . [7] He believed that neither of the two main characters was sexually interested in Miko's Megan and that it is strongly indicated Sean and Nick develop romantic feelings towards each other. [7]

Production

Director J.S. Cardone was influenced by Terrence Malick's Badlands (1973) and Kathryn Bigelow's vampire film Near Dark (1987) when writing The Forsaken, and said he wanted to make a "road movie" with vampires. [8] Kerr Smith was cast in the film based on his performance as Jack McPhee, a gay teenager on the network series Dawson's Creek ; Brendan Fehr was cast based on his role in the sci-fi series Roswell . [8] Cardone cast Izabella Miko in the role of Megan, who at the time was new to the film industry. [8] To prepare for the role, Miko, who is originally from Poland, completed accent training in order to achieve an American accent. [8]

The film was shot on location in and around Yuma, Arizona. [8]

Reception

The Forsaken holds a 7% approval rating on the internet review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, based on 54 reviews. [9]

Marc Savlov of The Austin Chronicle said of the film: "Like the recent Dracula 2000 , The Forsaken supplies its own twist, and also like that other film it comes as less of a surprise than a bewilderment. I'll refrain from spelling it out, though I'll note that the Crusades have something to do with it and it handily doubles as an AIDS metaphor. Who'da thunk it?" [10] Entertainment Weekly also gave the film a negative review, calling it "startlingly amateurish." [11]

Stephen Holden of The New York Times gave a middling review of the film, calling it a "reasonably smart generic hybrid," but that it "trots out its full arsenal of shock tactics far too early in the game and squanders the suspense it has accumulated." [12] Wesley Morris of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote: "As anonymous vampire flicks go, The Forsaken is like a store-bought costume with plastic fangs collecting dust in a Wal-Mart "Everything Must Go" bin. Imagine a tributary of Dawson's Creek snaking into the cesspool area of the Styx, and you might be able to glean a vision of The Forsaken for yourself." [13]

Maitland McDonagh of TV Guide called the film a "hip, revisionist horror picture, which borrows liberally — and cannily — from Near Dark and The Hitcher ." [14] Neil Smith of the BBC awarded the film three out of five stars, but noted that the film "plays down the more lurid aspects of the vampire legend—no fangs, crucifixes or silver bullets—in an attempt to free the genre from its gothic roots. The problem is he inadvertently removes everything that makes the horror genre fun." [15]

Box office

The film opened at #8 at the North American box office making $3,020,159 USD in its opening weekend. The film lost money by 53 percent in box office earnings the following week causing the film to move a notch down to #9, it became a box office bomb as the film had plummeted to the 15th spot.

See also

Related Research Articles

<i>From Dusk till Dawn</i> 1996 film by Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino

From Dusk till Dawn is a 1996 American action horror film directed by Robert Rodriguez and written by Quentin Tarantino. It stars Harvey Keitel, George Clooney, Tarantino, and Juliette Lewis. After enjoying financial success at the box office, it has since become a cult film.

<i>Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter</i> 2001 film by Lee Demarbre

Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter is a 2001 Canadian horror parody film from Odessa Filmworks which deals with Jesus' modern-day struggle to protect the lesbians of Ottawa, Ontario, from vampires with the help of Mexican wrestler El Santo.

Renfield fictional character created by Bram Stoker

R. M. Renfield is a fictional character who appears in Bram Stoker's 1897 Gothic horror novel Dracula.

<i>Vampires</i> (1998 film) 1998 film directed by John Carpenter

Vampires is a 1998 American independent Neo-Western action horror film directed and scored by John Carpenter and starring James Woods. It was adapted from the novel Vampire$ by John Steakley.

<i>Dracula 2000</i> 2000 film by Patrick Lussier

Dracula 2000 is a 2000 American gothic horror film co-written and directed by Patrick Lussier and produced by Joel Soisson and Wes Craven, and starring Jeri Ryan, Gerard Butler, Christopher Plummer, Jonny Lee Miller, Justine Waddell, Omar Epps, Colleen Fitzpatrick, and Jennifer Esposito. The plot follows Dracula, who arrives in New Orleans, Louisiana in the 21st century and seeks out Mary Heller, a descendant of Abraham Van Helsing.

Forsaken or The Forsaken may refer to:

Morbius, the Living Vampire Fictional character in the Marvel universe

Morbius the Living Vampire, a.k.a. Dr. Michael Morbius, Ph.D., M.D., is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by writer Roy Thomas and originally designed by penciler Gil Kane, he first appeared as an enemy of the superhero Spider-Man in The Amazing Spider-Man #101.

Johnathon Schaech American actor

Johnathon Schaech is an American actor, writer and producer known for his role as James (Jimmy) Mattingly II in the film That Thing You Do!

<i>Son of Dracula</i> (1943 film) 1943 film by Robert Siodmak

Son of Dracula is a 1943 American horror film directed by Robert Siodmak – his first film for Universal Pictures – with a screenplay based on an original story by his brother Curt. The film stars Lon Chaney, Jr. and his frequent co-star Evelyn Ankers. Notably it is the first film where a vampire is actually shown physically transforming into a bat on screen. It is the third Dracula film from Universal's Classic Monster series, preceded by Dracula and Dracula's Daughter, though Count Dracula himself does not return to the series until the fourth installment, 1944's House of Frankenstein.

Izabella Miko Polish actress, dancer, producer, and environmental activist

Izabella Miko is a Polish-American actress, dancer, producer, and environmental activist. She is best known for starring in the musical comedy-drama film Coyote Ugly and the music videos "Mr. Brightside" and "Miss Atomic Bomb" by The Killers. While a dance student in Poland, Miko was recruited to study at the New York City Ballet at age fifteen and later studied acting at the Lee Strasberg Institute. She made her American film debut in Coyote Ugly (2000), followed by a starring part in the vampire thriller The Forsaken (2001).

<i>The Space Vampires</i> book by Colin Wilson

The Space Vampires is a British science fiction horror novel written by author Colin Wilson, and first published in England and the United States by Random House in 1976. Wilson's fifty-first book, it is about the remnants of a race of intergalactic vampires who are brought back from outer space and are inadvertently let loose on Earth.

Joseph S. Cardone is an American film director, producer and writer. He is probably best known for writing and directing The Slayer, Shadowzone and The Forsaken as well as being the writer for The Covenant.

<i>The Hitcher</i> (2007 film) 2007 film by Dave Meyers

The Hitcher is a 2007 American road thriller film starring Sean Bean, Sophia Bush and Zachary Knighton. It is a remake of the 1986 film of the same name starring Rutger Hauer, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and C. Thomas Howell. The Hitcher was directed by Dave Meyers and produced by Michael Bay’s production company Platinum Dunes.

<i>Dracula II: Ascension</i> 2003 film by Patrick Lussier

Dracula II: Ascension is a 2003 direct-to-video American-Romanian horror film, directed by Patrick Lussier. It stars Jason Scott Lee, Stephen Billington and Diane Neal. Filmed entirely in Romania by Castel Film Studios, the film is the sequel to Dracula 2000. It was released direct-to-video on June 7, 2003. The film marks one of the very few cinematic portrayals of certain aspects of vampire lore, such as a vampire's compulsive need to count mustard seeds and untie knots.

Seth Grahame-Smith American writer

Seth Grahame-Smith is an American novelist, film director, film producer, and screenwriter. He is best known as the author of The New York Times best-selling novels Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, both of which have been adapted as feature films. Grahame-Smith is also the co-creator, head writer and executive producer of The Hard Times of RJ Berger, a scripted television comedy appearing on MTV. In collaboration with David Katzenberg, his partner in Katzsmith Productions, Grahame-Smith is currently developing a number of projects for television and film.

<i>Incense for the Damned</i> 1970 film by Robert Hartford-Davis

Incense for the Damned is a 1971 British horror film. It was produced by Graham Harris in 1970. Director Robert Hartford-Davis, unhappy with the completed film, 'disowned' it, had his name removed and the fictitious Michael Burrowes credited as director. The film stars Patrick Macnee, Johnny Sekka, Madeleine Hinde and Alexander Davion with Peter Cushing and Edward Woodward in supporting roles. Incense for the Damned is based on the 1960 Simon Raven novel Doctors Wear Scarlet. The film centres on Richard Fountain, a scholar of Greek mythology at the University of Oxford, who has fallen under the influence of Chriseis, a mysterious Greek woman who is a modern-day vampire. Fountain, upon his return to the UK, is revealed to have been vampirised by Chriseis and dies shortly after killing his fiancée Penelope Goodrich (Hinde).

<i>Stake Land</i> 2010 film by Jim Mickle

Stake Land is a 2010 American vampire horror film directed by Jim Mickle and starring Nick Damici, who cowrote the script with Mickle. It also stars Connor Paolo, Danielle Harris and Kelly McGillis. The plot revolves around an orphaned young man being taken under the wing of a vampire hunter known only as "Mister", and the battle for survival in their quest for a safe haven.

<i>13 Eerie</i> 2013 film by Lowell Dean

13 Eerie is a 2013 Canadian horror film directed by Lowell Dean, making his feature film debut. It is also produced by Don Carmody, Kevin DeWalt, Mark Montague and David Cormican and written by Christian Piers Betley. The film stars Katharine Isabelle, Michael Shanks, Brendan Fehr, Brendan Fletcher, Nick Moran and Jesse Moss. It entails the story about six forensic undergrads completing a university field exam on a deserted island, oblivious that the island was previously used for illegal biological experiments on life-term prisoners.

<i>The Unwanted</i> 2014 film by Bret Wood

The Unwanted is a 2014 American thriller film written and directed by Bret Wood. It is based on the novel Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu but was transposed from a Gothic tale set in Austria to a Southern Gothic setting. It stars Christen Orr in the title role, a woman who comes to a small town in the Southern US to investigate the mother she never knew. Along the way, she meets Laura and her father Troy, locals who may know something about her mother. It premiered at the Atlanta Film Festival on March 31, 2014, and Kino International released it on DVD on July 14, 2015.

<i>The Possession of Hannah Grace</i> 2018 American horror thriller film

The Possession of Hannah Grace is a 2018 American supernatural horror thriller film directed by Diederik van Rooijen and written by Brian Sieve. It stars Shay Mitchell, Kirby Johnson, Stana Katic, Grey Damon and Nick Thune, and follows a former policewoman who encounters the supernatural while working in a morgue.

References

  1. https://catalog.afi.com/Film/62018-THE-FORSAKEN?sid=7f53a290-a07e-4abf-b146-aa985fe146a9&sr=10.047787&cp=1&pos=0
  2. Juergens, Brian (October 27, 2014). "The 13 Most Homoerotic Horror Movies Of All Time". Logo TV . Retrieved October 12, 2020.
  3. 1 2 Howell, Joseph (September 14, 2013). "It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: The Forsaken". Culture Crossfire. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  4. "The 5 Most Unintentionally Gay Horror Movies". Cracked.com. Literally Media. February 27, 2009. Retrieved October 12, 2020.
  5. Roten, Robert (May 15, 2001). "Laramie Movie Scope: The Forsaken". Laramie Movie Scope. Retrieved October 12, 2020.
  6. Coleridge, Daniel R. (May 8, 2001). "The Forsaken's Gay Subtext". Secret. Retrieved October 12, 2020.
  7. 1 2 3 Nowicki, Albert (October 12, 2020). "'I need all the muscle I can get!' ('Straceni', 2001)". His Name is Death (in Polish). Retrieved October 12, 2020.
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 Cardone, J.S. (2001). The Forsaken(DVD)|format= requires |url= (help) (Audio commentary). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
  9. "The Forsaken". Rotten Tomatoes . Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  10. Savlov, Marc (May 4, 2001). "The Forsaken". The Austin Chronicle. Film Calendar. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  11. Fretts, Bruce (May 2, 2001). "The Forsaken". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  12. Holden, Stephen (April 28, 2001). "FILM REVIEW; A Throatful Of Vampires, Defanged". The New York Times. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  13. Morris, Wesley (April 28, 2001). "'Forsaken' for a reason / Vampire movie is bargain-bin fare". San Francisco Chronicle . Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  14. McDonagh, Maitland. "The Forsaken". TV Guide. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  15. Smith, Neil (September 4, 2001). "The Forsaken". BBC . Archived from the original on December 30, 2004. Retrieved December 22, 2017.