30 Days of Night (2007) Review
Written by: the5thdroog
The concept for this movie was one that made me wonder why it was never thought of before. Vampires in Alaska where they spend entire months at a time without a hint of the sun seems like a good idea. The graphic novel was a multi-award winner and one of the people adapting it to film was the writer of the comic. With all that being said, this should be an easy pick for anyone’s top five vampire films…oh it is also brought to us by Ghost House Pictures. Dang it! I knew it was too good to be true, at least this one got an R rating.
As I mentioned before the story takes place in the great white north. It is the last day of sun for a month and everyone is making their appropriate preparations. For some that means leaving town, for others it just means making sure you have enough supplies to get through the darkness. As the sun becomes closer to going into hiding, the sheriff, Eben (Josh Hartnett), begins receiving various calls about different acts of vandalism, and in one case violence towards animals, taking place throughout the small town. He later finds a “stranger” in the bar getting a little anxious about things when he can’t get any alcohol. The stranger has blood all over his hands and this leads the sheriff to believe he found his animal killer. After the sun sets, people start getting attacked by some very exuberant vampires. The vampires start from the outside of the town working themselves into the middle in an attempt at efficiency. They cut the power, cell towers, and anything that would lead anyone to the outside world. We find out from our stranger (Ben Foster), that he was assisting them in getting the town ready for the invasion and that this time they were going to take him with him. The sheriff begins trying to make the best plans for the small group of survivors in his care, to keep ahead of the blood suckers. This small band of locals is left to try and hold out and survive for the next 30 days.
The acting was good, as you would expect with the cast. Hartnett did what was expected of him and nothing more. I’ve been a fan of Foster for a year or so now and he seems to play the sleazy outsider very well in other things and succeeds at that again here. The acting vampire crew does a decent job, with a few noticeable stand outs, but they weren’t anything better than I’ve seen before. It was interesting that they actually used a different dialect, that kept things a little truer to legend I suppose.
CGI effects could be found throughout. It played along pretty well with some of the action scenes, but took away from the more subtle times. I’m not a CGI fan, but I wasn’t turned off just from what I saw of these. There was plenty of blood staining snow shots and it did have some nice kills in the movie, as you would expect from such aggressive vampires.
I really wanted to like this movie more than I did. Like I said in the opening it sounds like a great idea, but for this movie, once the novelty of that wore off it started losing me a little. It is the best thing Ghost House Pictures has put out so far, but that isn’t really saying a whole lot. I missed this at the theater and I could see it playing out better on the big screen, but it is still the same movie for the most part. This movie would MAYBE fall into my top 10 favorite vampire films, but I would have to think about that. I know off the top of my head there have been many done better.