Stake Land tells the story of Martin, a teenager living in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by vampires.
After his parents are killed by vampires Martin teams up with Mister, a solitary vampire hunter who teaches Martin how to stake vampires. Together they travel north through small towns on “lockdown” and rural areas to a rumoured sanctuary in Canada called New Eden. Along the way they pick up other travellers. These include Belle, a young pregnant woman who wants to get to New Eden before her baby is born, Willie, a marine who was called back from the war in the Middle East when it became infested with vampires, and a nun who has fled her convent.
The journey north is long and dangerous. The country is teeming with vampires – and a violent Christian group called the Brotherhood, which believes vampires are a gift from god sent to destroy the unworthy.
The vampires in this film are brutal and savage, a nice change from the recent trend of making vampires civilised and almost cuddly. These vampires have no personality and very little intelligence, more like zombies, but zombies with sharp fangs that can run very fast. I also liked the fact that the vampires are hard to kill – they have to be staked in the heart and then the stake has to be hammered in. It’s little details like that that helps give the film a gory, gritty feel.
Post-apocalyptic films often illustrate people’s fear of what would happen if society collapsed. One of the things I like most about this film is that the characters don’t turn on each other – they don’t start fighting over resources and shooting each other. The main characters in Stake Land deal with their fear by working together, relying on each other and creating a new family. This gives some parts of the film a hopeful and optimistic feel even though other parts are gory and horrific. It makes it more realistic as a film. People do work together in chaotic situations. They don’t just turn into a mob blindly killing each other.
Post-apocalyptic films have been made many times and this film is similar to The Road or 28 Days Later. However its well written script, brilliant music and good acting make it stand out from other films of this genre. Stake Land is an intelligent horror film that is well worth watching so long as you like a fair amount of gore.
Stake Land is Released in the UK on 17 June
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