Fright Fest Review #5: Stake Land (2010)

This gives a whole new meaning to
This gives “run to daylight” a whole new meaning.

Subgenre:  Vampire

Summary:  A vampire hunter and his young mentee travel across post-apocalyptic America in search of a rumored safe haven.

Review:  It’s easy to initially dismiss Stake Land as just another post-apocalyptic horror movie, but there are enough unique touches here to set it apart from the crowd.  Most substantially, Stake Land differs from hordes of similar movies in the way it depicts its vampire-plagued landscape.  Though it doesn’t shy away from the bleak aspects of such a world, it explores the positive ones as well.  The settlements that have sprung up in the vampires’ wake have an old-fashioned sense of community absent from modern society, and there’s plenty of natural beauty to be found among the sparsely populated countryside.

Stake Land is just as much a road movie as it is a vampire movie, and this works to its advantage.  It takes us on a tour of a vampire-ravaged rural America, showing us its culture, its customs, and its citizens.  Our central duo of Mister and Martin make for good traveling companions, and the highs and lows they encounter on their journey always feel organic.  The vampire action is this movie is fast and brutal – there are no over-the-top heroics here, just people fighting for survival.

The Verdict:  Like the saying goes, it’s the journey, not the destination, and Stake Land is a trip worth taking.  I give it seven-and-a-half ferocious father figures out of ten.

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