Stake Land is an absolute belter of a movie that may have slipped under your radar. Set in a near future, post-apocalyptic America, Stake Land follows “Mister”, a grizzled, laconic survivor and his young charge Martin as they try to survive in an America overrun with feral vampires. The details of the how and they why of it is never explained, something that I think works to good effect as it helps you share, in a small way, the shock and confusion of the surviving humans and despite its fantastical premise the film still manages to feel “real” at every turn.
As with most post-apocalyptic tales, “Stake Land” is a grim narrative for most of its running time, though still with some moments of tenderness and levity and its nowhere near as bleak as Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road”. It also has a kick-arse hero in the form of “Mister” who, far from living in fear of the vampires, hunts them down whenever he can and then trades their teeth for supplies at the various strongholds and armed settlements they pass through. “Stake Land” is a fantastic addition to both the vampire and post-apocalyptic genres, bringing fresh ideas to both while managing to find a good balance between characterization and gore soaked action and I thoroughly recommend you give it a try even if you’re not a big fan of either genre.
It also has a baby being eaten in it, which will always get a thumbs up from me, oh and see if you can recognise the Nun they rescue before you see the actresses name in the end credits.