Stake Land (2010) [REVIEW]


I wish I had some really clever reason as to why I went to see this movie, but I don’t. I saw it because JD asked me to go see it, and I am pretty sure I asked/demanded to know if it would be good. His response was that the director’s previous film, Mulberry Street, was good, and that’s really all I had to go on. I might have pretended to know what Mulberry Street was, but considering Rampaige was out of town anyway, it’s not like I had anything better to do! I also noticed that Danielle Harris was in it, and it made me wonder how busy she is. I feel like she has a movie coming out every single month, while also maintaining a rigid schedule of how many horror conventions she goes to. Good for her! I was also a little nervous that this movie would be some sort of Zombieland-esque movie, but with vampires. Luckily, it wasn’t!


Wasn’t this guy in Lord of the Rings?

We learn that in the not too distant future there has been some sort of event that causes there to be a shit ton of vampires. A young boy named Martin, played by Connor Paolo, is found and taken care of by a character referred to only as “Mister”, played by Nick Damici, who was also one of the writers. From there it is a pretty typical post apocalyptic tale, where we see this pair going from town to town trying to find a place they can feel at home. Along the way we learn that some sort of cult has been formed in the aftermath of all of this that claims to know why all of this happened, and this cult tries to kill Martin and Mister. They fail, and Mister ends up leaving the leader for dead, in hopes that a vampire will kill him. The pair continue on, and in the next town they pick up a pregnant woman named Belle, played by Danielle Harris. I should mention now, before I forget, that the vampires in this one are a lot more similar to zombies, in the sense that they don’t appear to be very smart, or necessarily fast, and operate on base instinct, and are easily tricked. This little family unit continues about their business, when they make a pit stop in a small township. While there, everything seems fine, until a helicopter passes over and tosses vampires into the city, where they start wreaking havoc. They take to the woods once more, and realize that they are being stalked by a vampire that’s smarter than any they’ve dealt with, which ends up being the cult leader who was left for dead. He can trap them and trick them, but don’t worry, he gets killed, but not after Belle has also been killed. Mister and Martin continue on their way and find a young girl who has been surviving on her own for quite some time, and is Martin’s age. Seeing that the two have a future together, Mister decides to leave, without saying goodbye, and the film ends with the new couple arriving somewhere that they believe to be safe.


Don’t worry, Danielle Harris, I’d never impregnate you and leave you in a vampire ridden world. Ya know, because I’m sterile.

Take this comment as you will, but the whole time I felt like this movie was based on a comic book. Confusing, right? It’s not intended to have a positive or negative connotation, but rather the whole film felt like it consisted of segments of a story that were strung together in succession. Rather than a two hour film, it felt like there were multiple installments or segments that were interconnected, and there wasn’t too much back story as far as the mythos of what was going on. You were kind of expected to just take the idea of “There are vampires, and we don’t know why they exist, they just do, and they are all over the place.” Other than that, this film struggled with what other films have struggled with, in the sense that for every one element I enjoyed, there was one thing I didn’t enjoy. For example, the whole concept of turning vampires into weapons by tossing them from a helicopter was something I thought was pretty cool, yet only a few minutes after that scene, when the group was trying to escape from vampires in a junkyard, the ran INTO a corn field. How is fleeing into a corn field going to make it harder for vampires to catch you, despite the fact that corn fields are confusing as fuck for people running for their lives? Didn’t you see the second Jurassic Park movie?! The story was entertaining and all, but the way the vampires were portrayed didn’t really appeal to me, in both the aesthetics of them as well as their powers and motivation. JD liked this a lot more than I did, and I’m sure others might enjoy it less than me, I think it really all depends on what you look for in a vampire movie.


Wolfman Moon Scale

Official Site

6 responses to “Stake Land (2010) [REVIEW]

  1. Maybe I am giving it to much credit for being a well done indie horror pic. But goddammit it was pretty well done. And if you’ve spent any amount of time sifting through indie horror movies, you know how rare that is.
    The acting ( with one notable exception) was good, the cinematography was good, the writing wasn’t bad, and there was a Santa Claus vampire. What more could you want?

    • Well I’d say there is a difference between well done horror and well done INDIE horror. I mean, just because it was independently made doesn’t mean it gets a pass for me not being THAT impressed. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but only about as much as I enjoyed Daybreakers, which was another non-conventional vampire movie, despite not being “indie”. HelpfulHipster: describe anything as being “indie” as an excuse for it being bad!

  2. I loved this flick, I wasn’t expecting too much, since I didn’t know the director or any of the stars, sans Danielle, but I was surprised to see that it was extremely well done. Personally, I liked the fact that there was no real “plot” to the movie, much like in The Road, it’s just a slice of life from a world that, thankfully, can never exist. Best vamp movie I’ve seen since 30 Days of Night (and lets be honest, 30 Days wasn’t even necessarily that good).

    • I will totally agree that 30 Days of Night was one of the more interesting takes on the vampire story that’s come out lately, even if the movie, and even the comic, weren’t necessarily all that great. I also tried watching George Romero’s “Martin” recently, and that was another vampire story that I couldn’t really get that into. I guess vampires just aren’t really my thing.

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