Nick Damici (We Are What We Are)
Connor Paolo (World Trade Center)
Danielle Harris (The Victim)
Kelly McGillis (Top Gun)
Michael Cerveris (The Tick)
Marianne Hagan (Halloween 6)
When a pandemic of vampirism strikes, humans find themselves on the run from vicious, feral beasts. Large cities are left as tombs and survivors cling together in rural pockets, fearing nightfall. When his family is slaughtered, young Martin (Paolo) is taken under the wing of a grizzled, wayward vampire hunter, called Mister (Damici).Mister takes Martin on a journey through the locked-down towns of America’s heartland, searching for a better place in the famed ‘New Eden’, up north, while taking down any bloodsuckers that cross their path. Along the way, they are joined by fellow travellers, the first being a nun known only as Sister (McGillis), whom they rescue from two young rapists whom Mister kills without hesitation. They continue to move north, avoiding major thoroughfares that have been seized by The Brotherhood, a fundamentalist militia headed by such fanatics as Jebedia Loven (Michael Cerveris), who interprets the plague as God’s will at work.The group is then captured by The Brotherhood and it is revealed that one of the rapists killed by Mister was Loven’s son. As punishment, Mister is left at the mercy of a group of vampires, while Sister is taken as a sex slave and Martin will be kept as a forced convert to the Brotherhood. Martin promptly escapes the Brotherhood camp and discovers that Mister has survived the vampire attack and they drive off together, unable to help Sister.Coming across a survivors’ roadhouse, they pick up another traveler, the pregnant Belle (Harris), who hopes to make it to New Eden to have her child. Later, they also pick up Willie (Sean Nelson), a former Marine, who is found hiding in a workmen’s toilet having been abandoned as vampire bait by The Brotherhood. Willie informs the group that American military forces were withdrawn from the Middle East to help contain the outbreak, and that there is no Middle East to fight over anymore, as it is completely overrun by vampires. He goes on to say that The Brotherhood was partially responsible for the fall of America, ramming cars filled with vampires through blockades and crashing airplanes filled with vampires into cities. Overwhelmed as the plague spread across the U.S., the Armed Forces collapsed and no longer exist. The four decide to go after Jebedia, whom they successfully ambush, then tie to a tree and leave for the vampires. The group next encounters a survivors’ settlement and discover that Sister also escaped. The same night, celebrations are interrupted when The Brotherhood, using helicopters, drops vampires into town, killing many residents. Though invited to stay and help rebuild the settlement, the group decides to move on towards the north again.Midway, their car breaks down and they have to continue their journey on foot. They manage to avoid dangerous areas for some time but, while sleeping at an abandoned auto junk yard, they are attacked by ‘berserkers’, the oldest and strongest kind of vampire. They run into a corn field, and Sister diverts the chase away from the others, then shoots herself in the head when overrun. After several days of walking through the wilderness, they take shelter in a broken-down school bus turned camper and notice in the morning that Willie is missing. The three search for him, first finding his blanket then finding Willie killed and strung up in a tree. Mister notes he has never encountered a thinking vampire before and warns the others to stay alert. Despite their best efforts, Belle is taken from their campsite during the night and Mister and Martin find her in an abandoned silo the following day, wrapped in barbed wire and bitten. Jebedia Loven, now a thinking vampire thanks to having given himself willingly to the vampires that attacked him, reveals himself and attacks Martin and then Mister. Martin manages to impale Jebedia, and an injured Mister is successful in finishing him off. Martin mercy kills the dying Belle, saving her from becoming a vampire.The duo then heads north again, acquiring a pickup truck, and they meet Peggy, who lives alone in an abandoned restaurant and who picks off approaching vampires using a crossbow. Martin and Peggy have an instant connection, and Martin easily attacks and kills a vamp outside the restaurant that night, with Mister covertly looking on. The next day, Mister is gone and Martin finds his mentor’s skull pendant hanging from the truck’s mirror. He and Peggy head off by themselves, finally arriving at the border to Canada, or the New Eden for which they were searching.Watched this film last night and was amazed at the level of suspense kept throughout the picture. From the opening scene to the final credits it manages to keep you on edge, mostly with clever use of flicking backwards and forwards between day and night so regularly. The whole post apocalyptic world portrayed is fantastically grey and creepy and the addition of a religious fundamelist outfit takes the film to another level. The acting is solid and all of the main characters hold their own independently. Nick Damici should be proud of his writing and acting in this and also newcomer director Jim Mickle will be one to watch out for in the future. All in all if you like vamp films then this is an interesting twist on the genre, definitely a must see!