Sunday, June 23, 2013

Stake Land (2010)

Considering I just finished watching this movie on the Syfy channel during their "shitty Sunday vampire movie" line-up, I expected nothing for this movie. And sometimes expecting nothing will end up delivering a gem.

Stake Land is a post-apocalyptic movie about what happens after a plague has turned most of the world's inhabitants into vampires. The movie is far less about the actual vampires and more about the search for humanity and survival in the ruins of both. We follow a teenage boy named Martin (who provides narration during certain points) as he is saved by a vampire hunter only known as Mister after his family is killed by a group of vamps. Mister and Martin travel the north searching for a place called "New Eden", staying in survivor settlements or in a protected beat-up car and picking up some stragglers including a nun known as Sister, a young pregnant girl Belle, and Willie, a former Marine.

While vampires are the most obvious threat, what ends up being the real thorn in everyone's side is a group of religious fanatics that have named themselves The Brotherhood and their leader Jebediah, who fancies himself a god and someone able to keep the vampires at bay at will. They have taken control of many of the roads and areas and subject any survivors they encounter to their selfish and tyrannical ways.

This movie is a 90 minute ride of bleakness. Everything is dead and ravaged and ruined. Whenver you get a glimpse of the good humanity is capable, it's immediately destroyed, if not by the vampires then by The Brotherhood.

The visuals in this movie are not your normal dirt and ash scenes of a world torn asunder. There are some beautiful shots and scenery locations, which very much add to the lost feeling of everything. The acting is really damn good. The kid who plays Martin in particular gives a really strong and great perfomance (as does Mister).

If you happen to see this on a channel line-up or in a discount bin, don't dismiss it like I almost did.

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