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The Month of Horror Day 26: Stake Land

Basement contributor Matt Bellamy has taken it upon himself to watch and review at least one horror movie a day for the month of October . . . because he's awesome that way! For tonight's installment, Bellamy revisits and Season Three favourite featuring vampires that don't sparkle in the sunlight.

It doesn't happen often, I wish it did but it doesn't, that moment where you go into something with zero expectations and your mind is blown. That is what happened to me with 'Stake Land'. Now, I'd heard of it before, I remember some rumblings about it from the Toronto International Film Festival a couple years back but since then not so much--how has this not gone on to be a massive horror hit?? This is not only the best vampire movie released in years, kicking the ass of '30 Days of Night', but also one of the most inventive and refreshing movies I've seen in quite awhile. Period.

I was reminded of a couple things while watching this movie, the first being 'The Road' which I think had a very clear influence on it and the other being the PS3 game 'The Last Of Us'. This is a very bleak and somber film dealing with the aftermath of a worldwide vampire outbreak that killed off most humans, and the survivors scurry about like rats, doing their best to stay alive. The main character is simply named "Mister", and he's a no nonsense, tough talking, vampire killer who rescues a young man at the beginning of the film from a pack of these monsters who rip his family to shreds. The two are on a mission to travel to a place called 'New Eden' where they've heard there may not be as many of these "vamps" to deal with, a safe haven. Safer, maybe, it's possible there may be roving bands of cannibals up there instead. Along the way they do meet other survivors, towns that have been quarantined as best as possible, and vampire fangs are used as a sort of currency which "Mister" has no short supply of.

What a seriously terrific movie. It's not action packed, it's not "jump out of your seat" scary but it sure is creepy at times and you can't help but become engrossed in not only the story but this fascinating world the filmmakers have created. I'm so impressed by what they accomplished here on a low budget, they did a hell of a job and should feel extremely proud--heck, this looks better and more convincing than a lot of bigger budget movies I've seen recently! It's not difficult to find this movie either as it's on Netflix so if you do want to see something wholly original within the horror genre, and the best vampire flick released in years, then you really have no excuse to not check it out! Unless you don't have Netflix but, come on, it's $9 a month, worth it!

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