Stake Land—gory, brutal, and at times legit scary—follows a group of vampire hunters on the road living in an undead world. It is bleak as fuck. It is also very well done with plenty of action and strong character development especially when it comes to the two film's protagonists: Martin and Mister.
The movie does a lot with setting. It builds suspense by constantly going from one dark, unfamiliar place to another. Basically, The Road with vampires. What The Walking Dead should be. Contrasts this with the pockets of civilization still out and around. Total dystopian film. This is it's strongest asset. Totally worth a viddy.
Pros: Decent folk cover of “In the Pines” gets belted out by Danielle Harris (whose presence is also a pro). Good, strong characters.
Cons: At times too brutal. Lots of sexual assault and child death.
Disclaimer: My notes pretty much always contain spoilers.
Notes: Opening scene is just fucking brutal. A family works on cars in their barn. Son, mom, dad, baby. Boy hears shit go down in the barn. Starts to go to help. But the main kid gets rescued by some middle aged dude that goes by Mister. Boy's parents are killed by a zombie/vampire/wolfman thing. Mom is dead. Dad is getting there. Hear the baby cry. The thing is up in a corner of the barn. The thing is sucking the baby's blood. When he sees the light on it, he drops the baby from the rafters. That was maybe a little much.
Mister teaches the kid to kill the things. We see they are now living in a vampire/zombie world. There are pockets of living, we come to find, but the two choose to live on the road. Some towns good (New Eden). Some full of cannibals.
Eventually pick up a nun along the way who they witness nearly getting sexually assaulted. Kill the rapists. Stop by what looks like a Jonestown massacre. Red herring. Taken hostage by some bible thumping maniac named Jebediah. He's also a nazi. His son was one of the dudes who sexually assaulted the nun. Jeb throws the man out to the vamps but keeps the boy and nun. The nun he, yep, sexually assaults, while he sends the kid to get water. Of course the kid doesn't come back. Finds mister hiding out in a car. A vamp confronts them. Run her over but she ends up on the side of the car, hanging and biting. End up scrapping her off by running the side of the car into a tree. Great fucking kill.
Go back to New Eden. Dannielle Harris shows up out of nowhere, pregnant, singing “In the Pines” beautifully at a bar. She rolls with them when they hit the road again. Also pick up a black soldier dude. They catch Jeb. The nun, he claims, ran off on him. They leave him out bleeding for the vamps.
Come to another colony. This one called Stridington. It is massive. Another hoedown. Nun shows up there. Suddenly, during the reunion, a helicopter appears and starts dropping vamps from the sky. That shit is over. For a while the five of them live out in the wilderness. Then a junkyard. It is here they are attacked by berserkers, a type of super vamp. They lose the nun in this, eliminates her own map, in a somewhat surprising turn.
Back to the wilderness for the surviving four who come to live in camper. Soldier dude goes missing after going out to take a leak in the middle of the night. He dead. Find him in a tree. Killed by a “thinking” vamp who got around their traps silently. Trekking through the wilderness. DH is very pregnant at this point. While camping out, the two men are lured away. DH gets taken. Find her getting tortured in some building by Jeb! who is now a super vamp. Holy shit. Insane. Anticlimactically kill him. DH fucking dies. Major bummer.
Getting towards the end here. Meeting another young, pretty girl at a diner. The kid and her hit it off immediately. Their first date is picking off vamps in the backyard. He kills some vamp dick she went to high school with. They wake up in the morning and Mister is fucking gone. Leaves his necklace behind, not sure what is up with that, and the kid and this new girl are off on their own. Weak ending to an otherwise solid flick.