30 Days of Night: Blood Trails Review
Written by: wolfsoul4
George is a weary drug addict in New Orleans who moonlights as the messenger of a wisened vampire hunter. His job is to gather covert information regarding the movement and plans of the nosferatu race. When a pack of vampires begin to zero in on his position, George finds his contacts being systematically slaughtered and/or turned by the nosferatus. In a desperate attempt to deliver the message of the vampires next strike, George must combat the New Orleans vampiric population and survive long enough to spread the word.
The first question is: What is Blood Trails? Is it a sequel to the Ghost House film, 30 Days of Night? In reality, Blood Trails is about as niche a film as you can get. To sum it up, Blood Trails is essentially a short film prequel to the film. It runs about a half hour and can only be viewed either on the Fearnet.com website on a an R2 DVD release. So then why does this short, that few will probably see, deserve a review? Mainly because it's about as close to the point of a 30 Days sequel as anybody's going to get right now. Although the original film recieved a lukewarm reaction and the masses are certaintly not clamoring for a sequel, Blood Trails is still a good 26 minute watch for fans of the original.
The main disadvantages of this film are the major disadvantages that most anyone comes across when regarding a short film. That is, that the film is intended to provide a short burst of entertainment, but not come across as anything substantial or long lasting. Basically, it's the film equivalent of an energy drink.With a short run time, it's difficult for the viewer to ever develop anything regarding an attitude or opinion to the characters or the film itself. Thusly, the viewer finds themself thrusted into the woven mythos of the 30 Days world (this film is pulled out of a subplot from the original graphic novel) for a scant 26 minutes and are basically left to fend for ourselves. Again, this creates for an experience that is fun while it lasts, but never really develops into anything meaningful do to the short amount of time we spend with it. So...essentially it's the equivalent of a one night stand...fueled by Red Bull....uh, nevermind.
Regardless...the other issues regarding the film are of the technical nature. Victor Garcia directs this short and he tends to improve as the film progresses. Most of the vampire attacks are plagued with swift edit techniques that make things look choppy and difficult to focus. Although the camera and edits settle down eventually, they can be a nuisance at first. Also, more of an aesthetic nature, the film simply doesn;t have the appeal of the theatrical 30 Days setting. A desolate town in Alaska just has more of a kick than the claustrophobic alleys and apartments of Nawlins.
What this film does accomplish is hammering in as many vamp attacks as possible. While this does significantly decrease the character element (there are no "major" vampires here. The theatrical film had the likes of Marlow, Stork and Iris, vampires with identifiable traits), it makes for plenty of bloodshed to be had. And, surprisingly, this short film actually seems to be gorier and a bit nastier than 30 Days of Night, complete with disembowled vampires still in attack mode despite the notable handicap of their guts literally hanging out!
The film also has a cool little ending twist that will impress fans of the theatrical film. Also, overall, this film establishes more of the fact that the nosferatus are an actual race of beings as opposed to the near random pack of killers that the film, unfortunately, seemed to establish. Blood Trails also impresses as, what is basically a small film, contains great effects and outstanding makeup design (same as 30 Days, but that's not a bad thing).
So what it lacks in story or characters, it makes up for in spades with simple gory brutality. Even Garcia's direction improves as it goes along. The music is also very good and the ending is pretty slick. I'm a big fan of 30 Days of Night, both the movie and the mythos in general. In saying that, I can't imagine that anyone who does not want to see more rabid vampire violence would even bother watching this. But for fans of the film who want more of those shreiking, shark fanged beasties...if the comics don;t cut it, track this down on it's site and spend the next 26 minutes with those viscious, Nawlin blood suckers.