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Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics What's this?

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7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 32 Ratings

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  • Summary: In a fierce, alternative vision of America’s bleak future, a young boy is about to learn how cruel the world can be. Martin was a normal teenage boy before the country collapsed in an empty pit of economic and political disaster. And from the ashes rose a new breed of terror. A vampireIn a fierce, alternative vision of America’s bleak future, a young boy is about to learn how cruel the world can be. Martin was a normal teenage boy before the country collapsed in an empty pit of economic and political disaster. And from the ashes rose a new breed of terror. A vampire epidemic has swept across what is left of the nation’s abandoned towns and cities, and it’s up to Mister, a death dealing, rogue vampire hunter, to get Martin safely north to Canada, the continent’s New Eden. Welcome to Stake Land, kid... (IFC Films) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 15
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 15
  3. Negative: 2 out of 15
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Hartlaub
    Apr 29, 2011
    100
    Bursts with action, ideas and interesting characters.
  2. Reviewed by: Pam Grady
    May 4, 2011
    90
    Stake Land is the movie "The Road" should have been.
  3. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Apr 21, 2011
    80
    Horror fans will celebrate Stake Land, and future horror-film directors should go to school on it. The flame is still burning -- and it keeps the undead away, at least for a while.
  4. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Apr 27, 2011
    75
    Director Jim Mickle, who co-wrote the film with his star Nick Damici, has crafted a good-looking, well-played and atmospheric apocalyptic vision.
  5. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    Apr 28, 2011
    70
    Resourceful writer-director Jim Mickle covers both in his realism-tinged indie Stake Land and shows that a savvy mixture of characterization, atmosphere and gore-eographed suspense can make even the most familiar fright tropes feel vaguely organic again.
  6. Reviewed by: Ben Sachs
    Apr 28, 2011
    70
    Mickle's observation of a devastated working-class America is so sharp that the horror elements, though effectively handled, come to feel like an afterthought.
  7. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Apr 19, 2011
    20
    The whole movie aches from tired blood.

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. Sep 5, 2011
    10
    Stunningly good horror movie - one of the best in a long time. The obvious comparison is that this must be some kind of 'Zombie Land' rip-off,Stunningly good horror movie - one of the best in a long time. The obvious comparison is that this must be some kind of 'Zombie Land' rip-off, especially with the vampire-tough-guy-escorting-younger-teen-and-coming-of-age storyline. Make no mistake, any parallels do not matter in the least. This movie is excellent and I cannot believe that it has a PG-13 rating! You know you're in for something brutal in the first five minutes when a vampire is encountered in the rafters of a farmhouse chewing on a newborn baby before dangling its corpse by one arm and dropping it to the floor below. Don't get me wrong, I have three kids of my own and I hate scenes like that - but it establishes the dark tone of the movie and how serious the movie-makers were about creating a realistic post-apocalyptic America that doesn't treat the viewers like idiots. Expand
  2. Jun 27, 2011
    10
    I seriously think that this will be a slow burn success like Shawshank.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Yes, it held up it's influences
    I seriously think that this will be a slow burn success like Shawshank.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Yes, it held up it's influences for all to see - The Road, Kung Fu, The Fellowship of the Ring, Karate Kid, Deliverance, etc - but for a LOW BUDGET FILM it seriously delivered. I was gripped from the first minute. I didn't recognise any of the actors - even Kelly McGillis; what a refreshing change. Zombie Land with brains (... although I've yet to see Zombie Land so apologise where relevant).

    I'm considering buying the OST. *Don't believe the trailer. This is not a non-stop action romp*

    Looking forward to the sequel ...
    Expand
  3. Jan 4, 2013
    10
    I'm surprised there's so few reviews for this one. I found it to be incredibly enjoyable, the atmosphere, the acting, the action, theI'm surprised there's so few reviews for this one. I found it to be incredibly enjoyable, the atmosphere, the acting, the action, the suspense. It's all there, and it all works like it should Expand
  4. Jan 28, 2013
    8
    The world needs more movies like this- a post apocolyptic world with a realistic feel. The movie doesn't push any one concept to farThe world needs more movies like this- a post apocolyptic world with a realistic feel. The movie doesn't push any one concept to far (relationships, human vs human) but has it all. A very good movie. Expand
  5. Jan 31, 2013
    8
    The world has been ravished by despair after a deadly plague has transformed most of the population into bloodthirsty vampires. Martin and hisThe world has been ravished by despair after a deadly plague has transformed most of the population into bloodthirsty vampires. Martin and his mentor, Mister, set off through dangerous territory in the hopes of reaching the safe haven known as New Eden, but in order to do so, they will have to fight their way through hordes of the undead, let alone an army of crazed religious fanatics that have embraced "God's wrath." Nick Damici and Jim Mickle follow up their vastly underrated feature debut, MULBERRY STREET, with another powerful post-apocalyptic vision of hell starring Damici as the mysterious vampire slayer, "Mister." The scope of the picture feels all-encompassing, transforming the entire world into an undead nightmare on a relatively small-scale. Damici creates an excellent new anti-hero in Mister, with his brash behavior and uncaring attitude amounting to a memorable performance overall. Connor Paolo comes as a much bigger surprise, however, as Mister's argil apprentice, Martin. His sincerity and vulnerability are what draw us in to their unfortunate predicament as they race for survival. With the human element already in place, we turn to the unbridled terror of Mickle's vampires. The creatures function on a level of base instinct, and attack with the ferocity of an untamed animal. This makes for many frighteningly intense moments as Mister and Martin find themselves in inescapable situations against overwhelming odds. STAKE LAND succeeds on almost every level, and is a refreshing change of pace for vampire fans. Expand
  6. Jul 5, 2013
    7
    "Stake Land" has strong characters, a lucid script, plenty of action, and something more substantial which elevates this film from the rest of"Stake Land" has strong characters, a lucid script, plenty of action, and something more substantial which elevates this film from the rest of the pack.

    America is a lost nation. When an epidemic of vampirism strikes, humans find themselves on the run from vicious, feral beasts. Cities are tombs and survivors cling together in rural pockets, fearful of nightfall. When his family is slaughtered, young Martin ("Gossip Girl's" Connor Paolo) is taken under the wing of a grizzled, wayward hunter (Nick Damici) whose new prey is the Undead.

    Simply known as Mister, the vampire stalker takes Martin on a journey through the locked-down towns of America's heartland, searching for a better place while taking down any bloodsuckers that cross their path. Along the way they recruit fellow travellers, including a nun (Kelly McGillis) who is caught in a crisis of faith when her followers turn into ravenous beasts. This ragtag family unit cautiously moves north, avoiding major thoroughfares that have been seized by The Brethren, a fundamentalist militia headed by Jebedia Loven (Michael Cerveris) that interprets the plague as the Lord's work.

    The film has the feel of "The Walking Dead" with vampires in place of zombies. With limited resources, it is nicely realized and a impressive level of authenticity is achieved. There are no stand out individual performances, but uniformly the cast does a fine job. Nice pacing backed by an equally fine musical score. A refreshingly unique horror film that achieves on all fronts, even if Canada is the final destination.
    Expand
  7. Jan 17, 2012
    3
    The first third is good, the second third is bad and the final third is laughable, and not in a good way. It ends up taking itself far tooThe first third is good, the second third is bad and the final third is laughable, and not in a good way. It ends up taking itself far too seriously but doesn't have to writing chops to back that up. It evens runs out of ideas completely, resorting to cringing cliche. Expand

See all 13 User Reviews

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