Review: Stake Land

07 Aug

Martin (Connor Paolo) travels with Mister (Nick Damici) across an American landscape devastated by a vampire plague. Government has fallen, the cities are infested and the survivors are left to defend themselves against the bestial vampires that come out every night. Teenage Martin was living with his parents when the plague started and his father was trying to get his truck fixed to get them away from the vampires but one comes into the garage while Martin is outside and kills his family. Mister appears and kills the vampire then takes Martin along with him, sure the boy will not survive alone. They travel north away from the worse affected areas and take time out so that Mister can train Martin how to fight vampires. North is a place called New Eden that is supposed to be vampire free and they are headed there to see. The vampires in this film are like those from I Am Legend attacking with no sign of intelligence, they just attack like wild animals.

Most nights they have to find themselves a secure place but they also sometimes stay at small towns that successfully barricaded themselves against the vampires and which exist on the economics of bartering essential supplies and where there is still some element of normalcy. Between these places the countryside is dangerous and not just because of vampires. On the road they see a nun (Kelly McGillis) being chased by two men dressed in rags and furs. Mister kills both of them and they take the Sister with them since there really nowhere safe for her to go. She says they claimed to Christian and could help her but instead they tried to rape her.

As they travel they hear a cult preacher on the radio preaching about the vampires being sent from God. They call themselves the Brotherhood and seem to determined to make things much worse for everyone attacking barricades to allow vampires to invade the fragile sanctuaries of civilisation still left. Worse for Mister is that one of he men he killed rescuing the Sister is the son of their leader Jebediah Loven (Michael Cerveris)

This is great film thanks to the believable performances from the leads and script that keeps a tight focus on Martin’s story without wandering off into subplots. The narrow focus means we only gets hints of a bigger picture which is a good way of leaving it open for a sequel, as is the open ending. I think it draws the viewer into the story when you know as much the characters do and have to stick with them to find out more. It is a vampire film but there’s no glamour to these so the Twihards can bog off and the rest of us can relax and enjoy it.

Rating 8/10

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Posted by on August 7, 2011 in Entertainment, Film


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