Stake Land, co-written and directed by Jim Mickle, stars Nick Damici (co-writer), Connor Paolo, and Kelly McGillis. Stake Land is a vampire movie through and through. I love vamps, but I mean really who doesn't? (lol ok don't answer that) BUT these are not the romantic daylight-sparkly vamps, no no these are more the type of vampires that go snap crackle pop! These are the vamps you run screaming from; blood thirsty, fifthly, mindless creatures that haunt your nightmares and really truly scare the bejesus out of you. If you like horror and want to enjoy a great script that's well acted and tells a dramatic story, then look no further: Stake Land is it!
Martin (Connor Paolo) was a normal teenage boy before the country collapsed into an empty pit of economic and political disaster. A vampire epidemic has swept across what is left of the United States's abandoned towns and cities. It's up to a man simply known as Mister (Nick Damici), a death dealing, rogue vampire hunter, to get Martin safely north to Canada, the continent's New Eden. Along the way they recruit fellow travelers, including a nun (Kelly McGillis) who is caught in a crisis of faith when her followers turn into ravenous beasts.
Stake Land starts with bite, literally. It lets you know within the first two minutes that THIS film is going to be gritty. The movie takes you on a ride and holds you in its grip until the very end. Horror is not what I would have watched, but I am so glad I did. Stake Land allows the audience to become emotionally invested in its characters. You're really rooting for the main characters, hoping they make it to New Eden. The journey is long and dangerous, filled with crazy humans and blood thirsty beasts alike. It's wild!
Nick does a superb job as his character "Mister", the lonely man that just never fit into society before the epidemic hit. Now Mister thrives in a world gone to hell, and he is training young Martin to follow in his foot steps. If Martin wants to survive, he'll have to learn how to fight off vampires and human scavengers alike. A big help to the film is that Nick not only co-wrote this movie but also got deep into character. He spent time camping out in the woods, and made all the stakes they used in the movie. I was really impressed with his dedication to the project.
Kelley brings a huge mixed-bag of acting skills to the film, she sold me with her nun character lock, stock and exploding barrels. Each part in this movie, big or small, was important to the overall story. I didn't feel let down in any way or bored during any part. The movie has an Epic feel, and while it may be an IFC movie, I never once got that perception while watching it. Excellent directing, beautifully shot, fantastic makeup work and a new vampire interpretation with a western feel made this movie what it is. It's a great horror film for those that love this genre, and truly a great movie to watch.
Getting 4 and 1/2 Peeing Santa Suit Sheep