Skip to main content

30 days of Night

Movie title: 30 Days of Night (2007)
Grade: B- (3 stars)
Rated: R
Director: David Slade
Producers: Ted Adams, (Exec.) Joseph Drake, (Exec.) Aubrey Henderson, (Exec.) Nathan Kahane, Sam Raimi, (Exec.) Mike Richardson, Chloe Smith
Starring: Josh Hartnett “Sheriff Eben Oleson,” Melissa George “Stella Oleson,” Danny Huston “Marlow,” Ben Foster “The Stranger,” Mark Boone Junior “Beau Brower,” Mark Rendall “Jake Oleson,” Amber Sainsbury “Denise,” Manu Bennett “Deputy Billy Kitka”
Genre: Horror
Summation: Vampires migrate to northern Alaska to feast on humans during the dark winter months.
Spoilers ahead: No
In a word: Gory

---

All may seem well in the icebox of America’s northernmost city (Barrow, Alaska), but this winter is not going to be like any other. Once the annual thirty days of polar darkness sets in, vampires take the opportunity to feast on trapped and helpless inhabitants. That’s the running theme in this Halloween horror 30 Days of Night directed by David Slade.

If you want horror, you’ve got it! Faces are slashed open with powerful claws, sending blood and screams of horror into the air. The level of realism is most unsettling as heads are graphically chopped off with multiple, laborious swings from an ax. Horrified men, women, and children are ripped from their quaint houses and wrestled to a snowy ground as their throats are bitten open with serrated teeth, leaving a red slush underneath the victims. In this film, gore-hounds will not be disappointed.

As for originality, the movie doesn’t have much, but it has a little. Facial features that are very pronounced, almost catlike in form, augment the typical European charm and look seen in most vampires. There’s no turning into bats and flying away here! These evil Hell-beasts are hungry, and they have thirty days of crippling darkness to chow down on the human population without consequence.

Hurting the credibility of the film, there were few if any Inuit people visible in a town of only five thousand where there should have been plenty. Instead, we have handsome and attractive Caucasian men and women. This was because the film wasn’t really filmed in Alaska, but New Zealand. I guess the director felt it was too hard to fly over and film the town with native Alaskan stand-ins, which (as stated) hurt the credibility of the film.

The credibility of the film suffered in two other serious regards, one being that Alaska is not dark for 30 days, but for 62. But even then, when it’s dark, it isn’t pitch black except for most of the day. An afternoon sun can be seen for several hours that looks like a late summer evening's brightness. Some better research on Alaska should have been done before filming began.

The humans are physically no match for the vampires, making it almost impossible to resist them. The plot is original, as are the vampires, with their oh-so-wicked tendency to take women and children and force them to march down the cold city streets and call out for help to draw out hiding humans. Beyond these things, however, nothing stands out as truly gripping.

While the plot was good, the quality of acting was fair at best. Character development was completely average, and the film doesn’t really make you feel for someone when they get killed. The screams are mostly realistic, but definitely overdone at times, as is the intensely savage behavior of the vampires, which could have been hemmed in a bit.

The dialogue was flat and largely uninteresting; “What do they want?” “I don’t know.” “How are we going to stop them?” “I don’t know.” Although very apparent at times, these quirks are not unlivable. One thing I found particularly interesting was how wasteful these hungry vampires were to leave thick trails of precious, tasty blood in the snow to go to waste. One would think that intelligent, humanoid predators would be more conservative with their food supply (even lions are careful to lick up all the blood from their kill).

In the final analysis, the movie is definitely worth seeing if you love intensely gory horror or vampire flicks, or if you are just looking for a good scary film. For the rest of us, well, seeing it still might not be a waste of time.

(JH)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

When Jesus Turns Down the Glory: 10 Worst Ever Christian Songs

It’s a sad testimony when even the creator of a thing realizes that the product isn’t what it was intended to be. Well, actually it’s a good thing. It just doesn’t happen often enough. The Christian music industry is, shall we say, not up to par with where its admirers (and even creators and ardent well-wishers) would hope it would be. And when even the average believer realizes that their music is not market-cornering stuff, all should know that there is a problem.

Now not all Christian music sucks (you might even find a few rock songs from artists like Petra on Joe Holman’s ipod that he still sometimes listens to and enjoys), but what makes the stuff that does suck suck is that what sucks sucks for a number of different reasons. We begin the countdown going from best of the worst to absolute worst...

The Top 5 Most Powerful Beings in Sci-fi (Part I of II)

It’s a subject that is rarely tackled in any form outside of random questions on a message board, but here we will devote a sensible examination of it. Who – what – is the most powerful being anywhere in every realm of sci-fi or fantasy ever dreamt up by a finite human being? I’ve been contemplating this subject since I was 8 years old. At 39, it hasn’t left my mind. That means several things; (1) I’m a fucking geek. (2) I’ve invested enough of my life pondering this for it to qualify as an obsession.

As with all “Most” anything lists, we are faced with several problems, one of them being limited source material. A couple of these only made one or two brief appearances somewhere and that is all we have to go by. But sometimes, those situations let our imaginations go into overdrive and give us even more creative fun. The mystery tends to add to the experience of contemplation.

The Top 5 Most Powerful Beings in Sci-fi (Part II of II)

#1) The Douwds – From Star Trek The Next Generation

Claim to fame: This Douwd went from pacifist to mass murderer of 50 billion in a single moment of anger. He appears to hold the record for most murders in all of sci-fi.
Abilities: Just about unlimited.
Nature: True immortals.

Our winner, debatably edging out number #2, is a mysterious race of beings called the Douwds. We only get to meet one of their kind in a single episode (#51, season 3 - see the condensed version here) called “The Survivors.” It was one of the very best of any season. What little we know of this illusive race “of disguises and false surroundings” only adds to our fascination with them.

When the Enterprise gets an urgent distress call from a federation colony on Delta Rana IV about an attacking alien warship, they head over as fast as they can, but they are days away. By the time they arrive, it is too late. All are dead and the planet has been literally leveled…with the sole exception of one house and the small pa…