West continues to tread a delightful path between winking dread and the real kind, but his pacing's off in the build-up, partly because of the many, many opportunities Paxton has to flee out the front door.
and storyline, this is it. Let me first say I don't know why this movie is over-looked when you look at some of the "top vampire movie" lists, and why it wasn't released on a larger scale but it's awesome.
It's set in a post-apocalyptic world where an epidemic of vampirism has extinguished most of the human race. In reality, this plays much more like a zombie epic and that's truthfully what it is. The creatures have pointy teeth, but the script follows the conventions you'd expect from an outbreak of the reanimated. A rogue warrior travels the land with a teenage companion as the two try to make it to a rumored land of safety called New Eden. Along the way, they meet threats of all sorts and even pick up a few stragglers. Whole towns of survivors are barricaded and fortified against the monster menace. But perhaps the most alarming enemy are the new religious zealots who see the vampires as vengeance against the wicked. In a land overtaken by lawlessness, monsters may be the easiest foe to fight.
The script is tidy and provides a narration that is haunting and well done. Nick Damici (who also has a screenwriter credit) plays the enigmatic hero and Connor Paolo is his protege. Both are believable and sympathetic, and they develop an effective chemistry that grounds the picture. A supporting cast that includes Kelly McGillis (from Top Gun--who I was surprised looks so old), Sean Nelson, and Danielle Harris further make this a movie in which you actually care about the characters! In many ways, the vampires are secondary to the human story of survival and hope in the midst of mayhem. The creatures are well done and the effects are solid--but again, I was more sold on the human drama than anything else. Surprisingly good overall--made all the more remarkable because of my admittedly low expectations. If you like zombies, vampires, and/or post-apocalyptic drama--this checks all the requisite boxes!