30 Days of Night Review
Written by: jamhorner
What is 30 Days of Night but another great adaptation of a great comic book. After successful comic movies like Sin City and 300, a more gorier and scarier comic book has been transformed into a movie. This movie has everything that a vampire flick should have from the excessive gore, to the pale looking bloodsuckers, to the charismatic feel of the villain, to the intensity of violent vampire attacks, all jam packed in a 2-hour movie. I loved this movie for many reasons but the main reason why this movie struck high on my horror-meter was because of the uniqueness of having vampires invade Alaska of all places. We all know about their months without sun (Insomnia), but none of us really knew how a vampire could use that to his or her advantage.
The one thing that really blew my mind away about this movie was the excellent performance by Josh Hartnett, who we all know did some pretty OKAY performances back in the past (The Faculty, Halloween H2O and Pearl Harbor). This movie should probably be considered as Hartnett's best performance in a long, long time. This movie really distinguishes him as an actor that doesn't have to play horrible teenage rolls, with the exception of Black Hawk Down. As for the other performances, they were awesome. The horrifying and calm performance by Danny Huston was so believable and so scary that it was scary enough for him to just stand there with his mouth open. I thought he looked like Tom Hanks for a minute. Other great performances that I should credit would be Mark Rendall who played Hartnett's brother, Ben Foster as The Stranger and Megan Franich who played one of the more creepier vampires of the clan.
The blood and horror were there, no doubt about it. Vampires jumping out from behind closed doors and sides of houses, vampires crawling up on the roofs of buildings, vampires viciously attacking people and taking out their heads and stomachs. I think that the most disturbing and creepiest part of the entire movie would be the little girl vampire but I will only say that about this movie. The other horror elements made this concoction more violent and mal-adjusted than any other vampire movie. I don't want to explain too much about the horror without revealing any key plot points but I will say this, the vampires are scarier than any that I have ever seen. But what do you expect with performances like Huston, Franich, John Rawls and Andrew Stehlin? Another great element that makes this movie worth seeing is the great scenery and establishing shots. The camera angles and cinematography where so stylized and unique, that it actually looks like it came directly from the comic book. The shots had depth to them, not just headshots and cheesy widescreen views but it incorporated great pans and zooms that gave the viewer a better perception of what was going on. Case in point, when the vampires destroy the town, it used a great beginning shot of Huston standing by what he had created, along with his fellow vampires in the background, but they were someone hidden behind the whole mess. For some shots, of course, they used the same technique that Sin City and 300 used where the actor was behind a green screen and the scenery used sharp contrasts, giving it a more believable comic book feel. In fact, the whole set of the Alaskan town was pretty good.
I do believe, and I certainly hope, that this movie does not just go down as another mindless vampire flick because, to contrary, it was not. It was much more that just your average bloodsucker movie, it was a roller coaster ride into hell with a few hills that barley reach to heaven. It was charismatic, suspenseful, horrifying and, at points, funny. I would strongly recommend this movie to anybody who is a fan of the bat-and-fang genre and even more to those who love a good scare. It was a great movie to see. Just think how much limelight that Alaska has gotten these past weeks.