• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

The Forsaken

TITLE: The Forsaken

YEAR: 2001

GENRE: Horror

AKA: The Forsaken: Desert Vampires

It is nothing new for a Hollywood studio to gather up a bunch of up and coming college-aged celebrities and cast them in a low budget horror or science fiction film to use their star power as a way to promote the movie. The 1960’s saw the release of Village Of The Giants, the 1980’s gave us The Lost Boys, and 1997 gave us Scream as perfect examples of young cast films. The teen stars will also use these films as vehicles to spread their creative wings and performing acts that the small screen would not allow, such as “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” star Sarah Michelle Gellar meeting her end in I Know What You Did Last Summer and socialite and reality TV star Paris Hilton starring in House Of Wax. One of those films was the teen vampire flick The Forsaken, a bland and unexciting scarefest whose plot has been borrowed from several other more well known and better delivered productions.

Sean (played by Kerr Smith) is driving across the country in a Mercedes to deliver the car to his sister’s wedding. On the way he picks up the hitchhiker Nick (Brendan Fehr), who claims that he is a vampire hunter chasing down a group of youthful looking bloodsuckers. When the twosome run into Megan (Izabello Miko), who was attacked by vampires and left for dead at the side of the road, Sean starts to believe in the story and decides to help Nick destroy the vampire nest. Megan is used as bait to lure the vampires out in the open, and during a confrontation Sean is bitten by a bloodsucker and is infected by the virus. The threesome is now on a race against time to kill the vampire leader Kit (Johnathon Schaech) in order to stop Sean’s inevitable change to a creature of the night.

If the plot to The Forsaken sounds a lot like John Carpenter’s Vampires, The Lost Boys, or From Dusk Till Dawn, you would be 100% correct. These three films were sort of tossed into some type of cinematic blender and after pureed for awhile The Forsaken developed, but the problem here is that it is painfully obvious that The Forsaken uses the blueprints of these films to create a movie with no creative ideas of its own. Sometimes this can be covered up with ridiculous action or gratuitous violence, but unfortunately the movie does not deliver on either count. The technical end of the film is fairly acceptable but nothing special with the exception of the sound work which was weak and muddled in places. The direction is also by the numbers and offers little creativity in camera angles and jump out of your seat moments. To cover up for the film’s inadequacies a few nudie scenes were tossed in foir eye candy, but it is fairly tame compared to most exploitation films and does little to nothing to add anything worthy to The Forsaken.

Director/writer J.S. Cardone is best known for writing screenplays for teenage horror films such as The Covenant and horror remakes like The Stepfather and Prom Night. Although there are many cast members of successful TV shows of the time such as ‘Dawson’s Creek”, few of them made any significant crossover onto the big screen. An incredible lack of creativity in both the production of this film as well as a semi-stolen concept makes The Forsaken a waste of time for most horror fans who have already seen the much better inspirations for this film and would not want to bother with such an uninspired mess. Blech.

*

–Mark

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