A pandemic of vampires has driven America into post apocalyptic times, but Mister and Martin are on the search for a better place and slaying any vampires they come across on the way.
Horror films sometimes receive negative criticism when they decide to be more serious than the usual bloodbath. For some, it's like watching a comedian take on a dramatic role. A little substance, more than the typical plots of a horror film, is a nice addition from time to time. In all fairness, to expect logic with horror, even those with a much deeper thought process, would be pretty dumb. I say all this because films like Stake Land receive the negative criticism for their efforts.
Dark, full of blood and a very serious tone throughout, Stake Land delivers a solid story. For a vampire film it's definitely made my favorite list. For an independent film, it was done quite well. The acting, although average, was done quite well too. You're not going to feel a connection to the characters though. There is a leering effect of emotion and that takes the film from good to great.
For something of this nature, I did expect a bit more depth and relation. There is somewhat of a back story for Martin in the beginning, but after that the movie goes back to the present. The dialogue back stories for other characters is there, but I would have just preferred seeing where they came from. Just a personal preference. The dialogue worked fine. I just think that would have definitely given the characters a more relatable performance. But, with the tone of the film, I understand why they were distant. The narration from Martin throughout is a nice touch.
The vampires act more like the zombies from 28 Days Later. You know, vicious and bloodthirsty. Hell, if you didn't know they had fangs, you'd think they were zombies. Since this is from the same guys that brought us Mulberry St., it's understandable. The makeup overall was done pretty well.
Even though I can agree with some of the negative criticisms people have towards Stake Land, I can ignore them enough to say it's actually a great movie. The fact that the outbreak isn't explained doesn't bother me at all. It adds a sense of mystery. I was a little hesitant about the religious aspect, but it wasn't as pointless as some people made it out to be. I will admit that the villain fight was kind of pointless, but it was shot well, so I'll let it slide. The narration didn't bother me either. This was probably the most bothersome for others I watched this with. I thought it added to the film.
Although this is pretty much Zombieland without the zombies or, most of all, the humor, it still stands strong for a vampire movie in a post apocalyptic setting. If you're a collector of movies, this is one to add to the collection. Sure, it has its faults, but all films do and there are ones that are far worse than Stake Land.
Rotten Tomatoes: 6.5/10
Come for the vampires. Stay for the kills.