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30 Days of Night (2007 movie)

Horror movie directed by David Slade

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I'll Take My Blood On The Rocks

  • Aug 29, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+1
You'd think that at least one vampire would wise up and take advantage of the fact that Alaska spends many a day in the dark. As far as I am aware, no such fate has befallen the great northern state. Based on the comic miniseries of the same name, "30 Days of Night" gives us a good look at what might happen if a vampire and a few of his undead friends would sink their fangs into the Land of the Midnight Sun.

The film opens with the small town of Barrow, Alaska preparing for its month-long dive into darkness (hence the thirty days of night). Most of the town's citizens are heading for sunnier locations, but a select few stay behind and stick it out. In this small group is the local sheriff, Eben (Josh Hartnett). While everyone is getting ready to leave, he's busy investigating a number of strange criminal acts (burning of cellular phones, slaughtering sled dogs, etc.). As he digs deeper into his investigation, he arrests a stranger (Ben Foster) who begins to wax prophetic about someone or something coming and that no one will survive.


Also staying behind (due to missing her flight) is Eben's estranged wife Stella (Melissa George). She assists Eben in arresting the stranger and goes with the pair to the sheriff's station where Eben's grandmother and brother are.

As soon as the sun goes down, chaos reigns supreme. Eben goes to check on the local telephone office and discovers a brutal murder/decapitation. Scared, he heads back to town and warns those that stayed behind to hide in their homes. As it gets darker, more and more people begin to die. Soon the streets are filled with blood and snow as a gang of vampires feast on the townsfolk.

A few survivors of the initial attack (including Eben and Stella) hole up in an attic and make plans to survive for the next month. The rest of the film shows the small group attempting to stay alive by using their knowledge of the town and the brutal snowfall to their advantage. Along the way, a few other survivors are picked apart by the vampire group which is headed up by Marlowe (Danny Huston).

As supplies become scarce and time begins to wear on them, the survivors take more and more chances in order to stay alive. This leads up to an eventual standoff with the vampires. Who lives? Who dies? Who finally gets to see the rising sun? Watch "30 Days of Night" and you'll find out.

The film's premise is great. It takes a legendary creature and puts in the one place that gives it seemingly every advantage over its victims. Isolated, cold, and in complete darkness, the average human would find it hard to survive with limited resources in such environs. Throw in a gaggle of bloodsucking immortals and you've really got problems.

The film's special effects are very good as well. They are bloody, gory, and very realistic. The makeup department also did a very good job.

Josh Hartnett's portrayal of Eben was very believable. Unlike the untouchable heroes in many films, he reacts to the initial vampire attacks with fear and confusion. I actually felt for his character as he tried to make sense of his situation. Melissa George is fairly convincing in her role as well. Mark Boone Junior nearly steals the show as Beau Brower, an unlikely hero in the film.

Unfortunately, Steve Niles and Stuart Beattie's story drags along at times and lacks a really convincing enemy. Despite being the leader of the vampire gang and seemingly full of wisdom, Marlowe just isn't that scary. There's never a moment in this film where I looked at Danny Huston's character and thought, "There's no way they can stop this guy." Whether it was Huston's performance or the direction of Huston by David Slade, I felt that the weak villain was the film's greatest downfall.

Despite this, I still recommend "30 Days of Night." While it isn't the best vampire film out there, it is much more loyal to its wicked origins than many of today's modern vampires. In a time where most bloodsuckers are busy courting teen girls or hanging out at Fangtasia, it's nice to see some truly evil vampires make their way out of the darkness.

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January 13, 2012
I agreed on your observations with pacing, but overall I liked this film. Seen DayBreakers?
January 14, 2012
Nope, I haven't seen that one yet. I'm way behind on my movie watching.
 
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More 30 Days of Night (2007 movie) reviews
review by . February 24, 2009
A Clever, Visceral, Atmospheric Vampire Horror Thriller!
          Tired of the usual vampire lore? The overused premise of seductive blood suckers? Well, I love movies about vampire and lycanthropic lore. "30 DAYS OF NIGHT" is a film based on the graphic novel/mini-series by Steven Niles and Ben Templesmith. I like vampire movies in general, although I have to say that NOT all "vampire flicks" are created equal. Thankfully, I am happy to say that this film lives up to its promise, and has become …
review by . October 30, 2008
30 Days Of Night
In Barrow Alaska, a desolate small town, there falls a time of year where the black of night lasts for 30 days. While many flee the darkness for Anchorage, others stay behind to weather the long night. As the sun sets on our film, the sheriff is called out to investigate the brutal slaying of every available sled dog in town; a puzzling and disturbing occurrence in a small quiet town.     Night falls, and the vampires come out to play. They're ugly, deadly, and very thirsty. …
review by . October 18, 2008
First off, I have never read of the comic book series 30 Days Of Night so none of that will be in my review. As for the film, it wasn't half bad, maybe a little far fetched but not that bad. 30 Days of Night takes place in Barrow Alaska where every year they have 30 straight days of night. Really when you think about it, this is an ideal town for a gory vampire horror film seeing as they could basically feast all day and night without the sun interrupting them. I was very interested to see this …
review by . May 03, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
`30 Days of Night' starts with an admirable idea: How about a vampire story in Northern Alaska during the dead of winter when there is no sunlight for about a month? There's so much you can do with cold and darkness to make a chilling horror adventure, and there have been many movies done recently in this vein, (including `Wind Chill' and `First Snow'). Based on screenwriter Steve Niles' co-authored comic series, the film descends into the darkness, but just like the protagonists who fight the villains …
review by . April 16, 2008
Gone are the vampires who are so completely wimpy that Blade can kill with a single swing of his manly sword. The lead vampire in particular Danny Huston who is an identifiable character saturated in menace at the same time peering at his victims with soulless black eyes. These vamps are, in every sense, nasty unlikable, disgusting, weird and utterly scary, just like a vampire should be.    So they come by boat to feed of the population of Barrow, an Alaskan small town, a place …
review by . April 13, 2008
Creepy, eerie, scary and dark, this movie was surprisingly different from most Vampire movies; there are still sharp teeth involved and loss of blood but also many more heart stopping intense moments when the watcher forgets to take the next breath. I won't rehash the premise since everyone here did it so well, but basically a small town on the outskirts of Alaska is about to enter the infamous 30 days of night when the sun rays can't penetrate the dark clouds and snow doesn't seem to cease falling. …
review by . March 10, 2008
Another vampire movie, yes. But, a damn good one. The sun will not come out for 30 days in the town of Barrow, Alaska. The residents are trapped as a hoarde of vampires makes their way in. They have nowhere to go and a group of people must try to survive the 30 days until the sun comes up again. The movie is slow at first but then it grabs you and doesn't let go. The pace changes, the suspense builds and the despair grows.     The vampires we get in this movie are not the suave …
review by . December 27, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
As 30 DAYS OF NIGHT opens, a Stranger (Ben Foster) wanders away from a freighter stuck in ice. The stranger had a key role in the events that are about to unfold and is on his way to Barrow, Alaska to watch the mayhem of his making. Barrow is a small town on the Artic Circle that for thirty days a year never sees the sun. Most of the town's citizens leave, but some remain behind. The day before the beginning of the long night Barrow's sheriff, Eben Oleson (Josh Hartnett) finds himself busier than …
About the reviewer
Kendall Fontenot ()
Ranked #8
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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Wiki

David (Hard Candy) Slade directs this nerve-jangling adaptation of the popular graphic novel series about a mob of vampires that overruns a remote Alaskan town in the grip of30 Days of Night. Josh Hartnett and Melissa George are the film's de facto heroes (he's the stoic town sheriff and she's his estranged fire-marshal wife) but the picture's real MVP is Slade's camera (along with cinematographer Jo Willems), which careens across the town's snowy landscape to detail the vampires' horrific assault on its inhabitants, which are quickly pared down to a hardy few. The script, co-written by the source material's creator, Steve Niles, along withPirates of the Caribbean's Stuart Beattie andHard Candy's Brian Nelson), proudly wears its influences on its crimson-stained sleeve (Bram Stoker'sDracula, natch, but alsoSalem's Lot, Night of the Living Dead, and John Carpenter's version ofThe Thing) and boils down the graphic novels to a series of tense and extremely bloody standoffs between Harnett and George's band of survivors and the vaguely Slavic and ferocious bloodsuckers led by Marlow (a feral and frightening Danny Huston). And if the characters seem stock and the finale begs suspension of disbelief, the set pieces leading up to it are sufficiently supercharged with suspense and violence to please most horror fans. Standouts in the supporting cast are Ben Foster as the film's Renfield figure and Mark Boone Junior; the ...
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Details

Director: David Slade
Genre: Horror
Release Date: October 19, 2007
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: February 26, 2008
Runtime: 113 minutes
Studio: Sony Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Dark Horse Entertainment
First to Review

"A Neverending Night"
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