Saturday, October 15, 2011

Stake Land

With my baseball team (the Tigers) playing game 6 of the ALCS tonight, I wasn't planning on watching a horror movie.  But a 9 run third inning by the Rangers is probably going to change that.
For now, I'll review a movie I watched a couple nights ago.

Stake Land

This showed up as a "you might like this movie" on Netflix.  So I grabbed it.
You know what?  They were right.  They usually are.
This is a vampire movie that feels more like a post-apocalyptic zombie movie...all scorched earth and undead things roaming around.  The big difference, of course, is that vampires can't come out during the day.
I don't remember them ever saying what caused it, but the movie begins with the world being overrun with vampires.  We follow Martin as he is getting ready to leave with his family, only to watch his family get killed, and himself only surviving because a man (simply known as Mister) comes by and saves him.  Martin begins traveling with Mister, and Mister shows him how to kill a vampire, and how to survive in general.
They pick up a couple of people along the way: a nun (Sister), a pregnant country singer (Belle), and a Marine (Willie).  They are trying to make their way to New Eden, a place in Canada that is supposed to be vampire-free.
But vampires aren't the only thing they need to worry about.  There is a fanatical religious group that calls themselves The Brotherhood, and is fronted by the sadistic Jebedia Loven, who believe that the vampires are a plague brought down by God.

The vampire behave more like zombies than vampires.  They have one goal: to feed.  They don't think.  They don't feel.  They can be killed in the standard vampire ways: stake through the heart, decapitation, and sunlight (although the only one we really see is the stake through the heart).

The movie moves a little slow in parts, but I think it works well.  It sets a good mood overall.  The music works really well for that mood, as well.  Lots of piano.  Pretty stark.  It fits the feeling and mood of the movie perfectly.

Overall, I really liked it.  It was a little different for a vampire movie, but it worked really well.  There were some parts that seemed a little clumsy, but, overall, it worked.
There was one thing that threw me off.  One of the cowriters of the movie was Nick Damici, who also played Mister.  Mister is great at killing vampires, and he's always cool, calm and collected.  So, basically, he's supposed to be a really cool character.  And that character was played by the guy who wrote him.  That just seemed a little cheap to me.  But it doesn't distract from the movie too much.  Just seemed a little odd.  Then again, Sylvester Stallone co-wrote for the Rambo and Rocky series...but Damici is no Stallone.

There were a few people in the movie that I recognized.  Danielle Harris (Rob Zombie's Halloween series, Hatchet II) played Belle, Kelly McGillis (Top Gun, Witness) played Sister, and Michael Cerveris (one of The Observers from Fringe) played Jebedia Loven.

Rating: 4.5/5

The Rangers are now up 12-4.  Guh.  Guess it's horror movie time.

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