Stakeland (2010) is a prime example of a movie suffering from an identity crisis. In the opening scene we are introduced to the two main characters and a brutal and shocking first vampire attack resulting in the death of a minor. Rather than a sign of things to come, the movie then ambles along from one scene to another but never knits together correctly for the remainder of the running time.
The story focuses on the last strands of mankind surviving a global vampire plague. Clues as to the source of the outbreak are glanced at through TV, radio and newspaper clips. Vampire hunter (Nick Damici – story’s co-writer) takes a young farmer’s boy (Connor Paolo) under his wing after the untimely death of his entire family from a drooling bloodsucker. They rescue a nun (an unrecognisable Kelly McGillis) from a mad religious group, and soon have the rest of the group to contend with along with the denizens of the night.
Stake Land’s main problem is that is never gains momemtum, preferring to remain locked in second gear like three episodes of a mini series sewn together . There are lovely moments concerning the bonding process of the two leads and a touching scene where the vampire hunter gives a glimpse of the man he once was when he dances with a young girl in a village celebration.
Characters are frequently introduced and then disappear abruptly. The movie also ends in a very open ended manner. Most of the cinema audience were still pinned to their seats unsure whether they had missed something or whether they should wait until after the credits for some sort of clarification.