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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Stake Land - Review (2010) 31 Days of Horror #5

Synopsis:  As the population of earth humans dwindles after a vampire pandemic, the remaining few band together and head for a safe haven.

Review:  This film provides another take on a post-apocalyptic America, this time with vamps taking over the landscape and wiping out the human population.  The center of this tale are Mister and Martin (Nick Damici and Connor Paolo,) a vampire-hunter and a teenager out on his own that trek across the country picking up the few remaining humans as they head to the "New Eden." 

There is not a great deal of action helping to keep the film focused more on substance than filler.   It is not vampire battle after battle, instead there is time to breath with some long quiet scenes used to establish just how bleak of time it is for humanity.  Some story lines do feel underdeveloped storylines, like that of the the vampire worshiping cult - maybe they are being saved for a sequel.

The tone and plot are similar to that of The Road, yet, it comes across as a much bigger film than it should.  With a budget under a million dollars, they really made the most with it.  Nice simple, realistic sets that don't suffer from looking like the over-produced ones that so often sinks so many films in the genre.  Even the vampires have a satisfactory style to them - unique, without looking too low budget.  The mostly nameless cast works at keeping the film believable, the only time you are pulled out of the story with a known face is with that of Kelly McGillis (of Top Gun fame) who is barely recognizable anyway.  It is nice see Danielle Harris make an appearance (horror fans will recognize her as Jamie, Michael Meyer's niece in Halloween 4 and 5.)

This little know film is work the look.  If you check it out you may want to bring along a friend for company.

SCARINESS              2.0 out of 5   Sticks more in the dark and interesting than the scary.

GORE/VIOLENCE       3.0 out of 5  Plenty of vampire staking and vampire leftovers, usually in darkened environments that hide the details.

STORY                       3.0 out of  5  The father-son dynamic adds to a tale we have seen before. 

Overall Rating (just as a film, not a horror film):  7.0 out of 10

Check out the rest of the reviews for FilmSnork's 31 Days of Horror here.

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