Had a chance to watch 30 Days of Night on DVD last night and enjoyed it for the most part. It was based on a comic book series written by Steve Niles and illustrated by Ben Templesmith in 2002. The movie script was also written by Niles and was directed by David Slade, who has directed music videos as well as a couple of other movies (Hard Candy and Do Geese See God?).
Here‘s the IMDB link… This is definitely an R rated movie for a reason. Lots of violence, gore, and language. Definitely not for the kiddies.
The movie centers around Sheriff Eben Oleoson (played by Josh Hartnet) and his wife (separated) (played by Melissa George) in the town of Barrow, Alaska. The real Barrow is in darkness for 65 days out of the year due to its remote northern location. But the movie Barrow is only in darkness for 30 days. While it’s in darkness, there appears to be a bad period of storms that keeps the area isolated from outside contact except for phone or internet.
Just as the darkness falls, a stranger comes to town and then the insanity begins…
The Stranger is simply the harbinger of a group of vampires. These lovely critters discovered that Barrow has this darkness every year and decided they’d take advantage of it. It seems like a “well duh” moment for the vamps, as they do have a rather serious skin condition that does more than leave a burn when exposed to the sun or ultraviolet light.
[Spoilers ahead] Though most of the town and townpeople are devastated by the end, a small group survives led by the Sheriff and his wife. They fight to stay hidden and survive the darkness with the vamps waiting just outside for a snack — and most of them succeed.[End spoilers.]
I thought the effects were pretty simple, which helped the film. The vampires have a gruesome appearance with their sharp teeth and a lot of bloodstains. Some of the wire work at the beginning was a bit overkill for me, but it did show that these ugly folks were more than human. (Though I have to say when they turn a car over later that becomes more than a little obvious…)
Things to like — smart story, good characters, good special effects for the most part.
Things not to like — a bit more gore than I typically like and some of the wire work was a bit much.
That said, this is definitely not one for the kids to watch. The carnage was in full force and more than a little violent with all the blood. (Keep an eye out for the Sheriff’s axe, which gets used quite a bit as the movie goes on.)
I’ll give it 3.5 out of 4. Definitely worth watching if you like smart story with your horror gore!
Until next time…