The Forsaken (2001)

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Released 5-Feb-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Vampire Dolby Digital Trailer-City
Audio Commentary
Featurette-Hard Body Co-Stars
Featurette-Actor Profile: Brendan Fehr
Deleted Scenes-3
Filmographies-Cast & Crew
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Bram Stoker's Dracula; Hollow Man
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 87:01
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By J.S. Cardone
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Kerr Smith
Brendan Fehr
Izabella Miko
Phina Oruche
Simon Rex
Carrie Snodgress
Johnathon Schaech
Case Soft Brackley-Transp
RPI $36.95 Music Johnny Lee Schell
Tim Jones


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
German
Dutch
Arabic
Bulgarian
Croatian
Czech
Danish
Finnish
Greek
Hebrew
Hindi
Hungarian
Icelandic
Norwegian
Polish
Swedish
Turkish
Dutch Audio Commentary
German Audio Commentary
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Stylistically similar to The Lost Boys (1987), but without the humour, The Forsaken is a fairly predictable horror movie. It combines the genre of 'vampire movie' with the genre of 'road movie' to poor effect.

    I generally enjoy vampire movies, and two of my favourites are Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) and Interview With A Vampire (1994). However, The Forsaken has attempted a slightly different approach to the vampire theme, and I feel that they have failed in their attempt.

    Vampire myths have been with us for thousands of years and occur in almost every culture around the world. Their variety is almost endless, but movie vampires are largely based on Eastern European myths. The Forsaken has tried to move away from the traditional movie vampire, and they have dispensed with the familiar elements of fangs, the wearing of evening clothes or capes, turning into bats or wolves, garlic, holy water, and stakes through the heart.

    In The Forsaken, Sean (Kerr Smith) is driving from L.A, through the desert toward Florida, to deliver a vintage convertible. Despite strict instructions not to do so, Sean picks up a hitchhiker (Brendan Fehr) who happens to be a vampire slayer. Sean quickly and unwilling becomes involved in a plan to save a young woman (Izabella Miko) and hunt down a gang of hip MTV-Gen-X, Buffy-inspired vampires.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, 16x9 enhanced.

    The sharpness of the picture is variable, and there are a few moments where it appears to be quite soft, for example the aerial shot at 35:21. The black level and shadow detail are acceptable.

    The colour is very good, with realistic fleshtones.

    There are a few minor MPEG artefacts, but nothing too distracting. There is mild pixelization at times, such as at 48:20. There is also mild macro-blocking on occasion, such as on the body of the car at 37:33. There is also a very slight shimmer on occasion, but aliasing never became a problem.

    There are small and very infrequent film artefacts throughout the movie, for example at 3:01 and 13:28. There is also some edge enhancement throughout, but I did not find it overly annoying.

    There are twenty sets of subtitles on this DVD, and the English subtitles are accurate.

    This is not an RSDL disc, and thus a good transfer considering that they squeezed the movie and all the extras onto a single layer.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    It is often questioned: "why do some of the worst movies get some of the best soundtracks?" The Forsaken has one of the most immersive Dolby Digital 5.1 audio tracks that I have ever heard on a DVD that I have reviewed.

    Apart from the English Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track, there is also a German Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track, and an English Dolby 2.0 surround-encoded track for the director's commentary.

    The dialogue quality and audio sync are good on the default English Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track.

    The musical score is credited to Johnny Lee Schell and Tim Jones. The score is mainly comprised of dissonant chords and sustained notes. There is also a lot of contemporary rock music used, which fits in well with the general look and feel of the movie. In fact, the movie often resembles a music video.

    The horror movie genre is the perfect vehicle for utilising and showing off the capabilities of surround sound, and The Forsaken has a strong surround presence and activity from beginning to end. There are great split rear directional effects, such as the traffic at 1:56 and the eerie sound effects at 35:15. The rears also help carry the score, for example at 6:06.

    The subwoofer is also utilised very effectively to support both the score, for example at 5:39, and the sound effects, such as the explosion at 33:24.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    While there is a quantity of extras, there certainly isn't any quality, other than the trailers.

Menu

    A very simple menu, presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. It is static and silent.

Hardbody Co-Stars (2:44)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with Dolby Digital stereo audio, this extra is about the cars used in the movie, and somehow manages to become boring during its short running time!

Actor Profile: Brendan Fehr (2:16)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with Dolby Digital stereo audio, this extra is so corny that I watched it a second time just to make sure it was as bad as I thought it was. Picture this . . . we see a clip from the movie of an explosion, cut to a shot of Brendan Fehr, with the earnest voice-over: "The only thing exploding these days is Brendan Fehr's career!". It then gets worse . . .

Deleted Scenes

    Three deleted scenes are presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with Dolby Digital stereo audio. They are of little substance or interest.

Filmographies

    Text-based information about the main cast and crew members.

Theatrical Trailers

    The only decent extra, the trailers for The Forsaken (1:51), Bram Stoker's Dracula (2:24), and Hollow Man (1:27) are included. Both the trailers for The Forsaken and Hollow Man are presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, 16x9 enhanced, with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. The trailer for Bram Stoker's Dracula is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with Dolby Digital stereo surround-encoded audio.

Director's Commentary

    The writer and director, Joe Cardone provides some interesting background material about the movie and its various scenes. A lot of the time his commentary is not very scene specific, and during some of the more interesting scenes, he is actually discussing some other aspect of the movie.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Forsaken was released on DVD in Region 1 in September 2001.

The Region 4 DVD misses out on:

The Region 1 DVD misses out on:

    As I wouldn't watch a pan & scan version, I would call it fairly even. Personally, however, I would favour the local release for its affordability, and superior PAL image.

Summary

    The Forsaken resembles a 90 minute music video. It has a very predicable story, and fails to provide any real suspense, horror or depth.

    The video quality is reasonable.

    The audio quality is excellent.

    The extras lack any real substance.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Wednesday, February 20, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony STR DE-545
SpeakersSony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer

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