Sunday, October 06, 2013

Forever 16 – review

Directed by: George Mendeluk

Release date: 2013

Contains spoilers

It was Everlost who emailed me and said that he had found this movie on YouTube. Now I very much doubt it was meant to have been posted on YouTube, so I shan't link as it probably has gone. However I owe Everlost my thanks for letting me know and giving me the opportunity to catch this.

I say "opportunity" in the loosest sense of the word; perhaps it is more the opportunity to fulfil the OCD that suggests I have to watch and document every little vampire moment in film and TV because, honestly, this is so saccharine, histrionically melodramatic and ill-conceived that it is only said OCD that made it worth watching. But it does have a vampire in it…

any excuse for a clown!
…And a clown… well actually not a clown but someone (I can’t spoil it by saying who) in a clown mask and an accomplice in a werewolf mask chasing down a girl (Lana Lonergan) who is running for her life. She gets away from the masked guys and a car sweeps in behind her, running her down. This crime makes the central part of the story.

Tiera Skovbye as Raven
We meet Raven Highgate (Tiera Skovbye) as she enters a record shop. She works there but is studiously ignoring her complaining boss. He talks about her freaky knowledge of older music but she is constantly late and has had a series of complaints from customers levelled against her. He touches her and her eyes goes white as she sees him slipping the previous clerk a date rape drug – confronted he retreats. After work she gets on her motorbike and goes to the cemetery and tells a tombstone that she will have to leave soon. We also see that she was followed by a cgi raven that looked a bit rubbish.

alleyway fight
She leaves the graveyard and goes to a hospital, where she steals from the blood bank and then ends up in an alleyway fighting three men, one of whom has a mysterious tattoo on his neck. Once home she is drinking her blood bags when there is a knock on the door. It is a cop, Mac (Andrea Roth, the Jitters and Forever Knight), who makes it clear that the cops know she is a vampire and want her to work for them. It seemed a little pathetic when Raven tried to push past her and Mac stopped her – given we know how strong she is. Her picture has been given to the hospitals but she still says no. We know she’ll change her mind, especially as Mac offers to give her information about her own kind.

on treadmill
At the police station they put her through her paces. She is stronger and faster than any vampire they have ever seen (she clocks 155 mph on the treadmill). She can jump higher than other vampires, heals faster and has a UV tolerance of three times normal sunlight. This fact (and the fact that the tester says something about her kind burning in the sun) shows she is something unusual. However we’ll get to that later. She also sees a picture of the tattoo (and play is made of her recognising the tattoo) and yet the film doesn’t touch this in any kind of detail.

the clique
Anyway, the girl who was killed went to a prestigious private school and Raven is going undercover. Perhaps it is the clique of rich popular kids who are behind the deaths (there has been at least one other mysterious death) or maybe it is the all too keen Connor (Tyler Johnston, Blood Ties)… hah… who am I kidding, making the love interest the bad guy would have been too much like a plot twist.

fangs and obligatory windy hair
You see the plot, story and dialogue are banal, the acting so full of melodrama you’d swear the reanimated corpse of a dead soap opera had lumbered onto your TV. Did I mention the plot holes too, and the contrivances… Ok bigger issues… Raven thinks she is the only one (vampire) hence wanting Mac’s information, ignoring conveniently the fact that she has met at least one vampire when she was turned. (Spoiling the big reveal at the end) somehow Mac has the name of the very vampire who attacked her mother… yeah… how… Raven reads Mac late on and discovers her family was murdered by a vampire – so yeah, you’ll put her on vampire liaison (not even touching, of course, why on earth the cops would have a vampire liaison). Raven seems to be accompanied by the feathered raven, like a cheap The Crow knock off (or the pilot of the Vampire Diaries), but we never know why. We also never know why this particular vampire is so powerful (perhaps it is because she only drinks from blood bags... who knows?)

I'm mad as Hell...
There must have been others in the police station too (or how else would they benchmark the blooming tests). Mac really does treat the ninety odd year old Raven like a sixteen year old – but then she kind of acts like she’s that age. She states that a bite turns but then the film ignores the fact that she kisses Connor and bites his lip… So a bite doesn’t turn then... or is it only when bitten with the fangs or into a vein? No answer appears to plug the potential hole. Why on Earth would a girl who can pass older than 16, and indeed is working in a record store, put herself through high school 18 times (yes it’s the high school trope… again…)? I could go on but you get the picture.

ol' violet eyes is back
The film acts like it is 1) deliberately setting itself up for a sequel, or 2) it’s a pilot… so perhaps potential answers for some of the plot issues might reside in the filmmakers’ collective minds… the problem is that the answers aren’t here. As I say the whole thing is way too saccharine, so much so that the film makes your teeth ache. Her eyes turn white when she is taking a psychic reading, a change that is ignored by other characters who can see the transformation, they also turn violet when feeding. However multi-coloured eyes and unanswered plot points are not elements intriguing enough to warrant anyone actually making part two, especially when part one is so poor. 2.5 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.


Unknown said...

This movie actually caused me to come looking for a part two or some explanation about the strange plot. Now I know it was definitely poorly made. You summed it up better than I could.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

cheers Patrina

Unknown said...

I do not agree I liked it a lot very entertaining and I hope there will follow more.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Virginia, that's what makes the world an interesting place. What one person hates another loves.

taliesin said...

I stumbled upon this on ewetoob a couple of months ago. Watched it 'cause a) I was bored, and b) has a cute 'girl on a motorcycle'.

What would have possibly been the best bits, (girl riding motorcycle), turned out to be the most annoying because whoever was riding that bike did not know how to shift properly.

This could have been acceptable, if the character actually were a 16 y/o girl, but was much less so for someone far older and therefore logically more experienced operating all manner of motor vehicle.

Inconsistently, he rider seemed at ease zipping along rain-soaked streets in heavy, night traffic, yet always shifted abysmally. A good rider will shift so quickly and smoothly, there won't be a noticeable pause between gears while upshifting. In fact, some riders upshift w/o using the clutch.

Irritated the hell out of me.

Rest of the movie was meh. Couldn't compare with 'Innocent Blood', for example

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Hi taliesin (good name btw) - I'll take your word on the abysmal bike skills but you are absolutely right, it is a very poor movie