Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Stake Land (2010)

Director: Jim Mickle

Writers: Jim Mickle, Nick Damici

Composer: Jeff Grace

Starring: Nick Damici, Connor Paolo, Kelly McGillis, Michael Cerveris, Bonnie Dennison, Jean Brassard, Chance Kelly, Sean Nelson, Danielle Harris

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The Most Dangerous Thing Is To Be Alive.

Plot: Martin was a normal teenage boy before the country collapsed in an empty pit of economic and political disaster. A vampire epidemic has swept across what is left of the nation's abandoned towns and cities, and it's up to Mister, a death dealing, rogue vampire hunter, to get Martin safely north to Canada, the continent's New Eden.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? No.

One of the biggest issues with horror films like this is having characters you care about or at least like to a certain degree.  Most horror films fail on this.  STAKE LAND does not.  I really dug Mister (Damici, who also co-wrote the film).  He's very serious about what he does but he's not over the top or goofy about it.  He's got a sense of humor but it's not for wisecracks and play time.  He's a survivalist and he's very much like you think that kind of guy would be if the situations in this film were real.  Paolo (as Martin) does a great job, too, and much in the same manner as Damici.  He holds back and doesn't allow his character to become a stereotype or the comic relief.  That's the high praise this film deserves.  The story and gore are good but they don't stand out as much as the grounded performances because we see good gore in a lot of films these days (and better than that CGI crap on THE WALKING DEAD) and stories similar to this aren't hard to find, although vampires do make a nice, albeit easy, substitution for zombies here.  It's definitely worth seeing although I'm not sure I will need to see it again.  I'm glad I finally got around to it.  I've been hearing about it for years and Netflix made it all too easy to finally pull the trigger.

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