Starring: Josh Hartnett, Melissa George, Danny Huston, Ben Foster, Mark Boone Junior
Directed by: David Slade
Tagline: They’re coming!
Running time: 113 Minutes
Quick summary (from IMDB): After an Alaskan town is plunged into darkness for a month, it is attacked by a bloodthirsty gang of vampires.
We probably aren’t going to get to more than four Vampire movies for our self-declared Vampire Movie Month of May. Having only made it through three movies as of the 20th. This was actually our second attempt at 30 Days of Night, after the first disc had a crack in it and wouldn’t play and had to go back to Netflix. The other problem is that there aren’t that many vampire movies out there that my wife and I both genuinely want to see. She won’t be down with the Blade movies, or Dracula: Dead and Loving it, and neither of us are particularly excited to see the final Twilight movie, we’re only watching it at this point for closure/to see how bad it can get. Of the Vampire movies I put in the queue for us, 30 Days of Night was, by far, the most intriguing, as it didn’t deal with your traditional, suave and sexy vampires, these were more like monsters, and a little scarier than Dracula and the like.
I really like the idea behind this movie, and the comic book it was based upon, but the movie itself wasn’t all that great. Taking vampires, who traditionally have a fixed daily schedule of being out of the way before sun up and giving them free reign for 30 straight days sounds terrifying and promising, but something was lost along the way. The vampires weren’t that scary, looking more like inbred monsters than anything else. They could move really fast and jump high, but mostly they just walked around, waiting for people to panic. They spoke a weird, primitive language and screeched a lot. I never felt scared or terrified by anything that the vampires were doing.
The most terrifying or creepy part of the entire movie was anytime that Ben Foster was on screen, and anytime he opened his mouth. The voice he used, coupled with the things he was saying and his general insane creepiness made him the most effective and intriguing character in the entire movie. He was mysterious and weird, and I wanted more of him and less of Josh Hartnett and his wife. He was by far the most interesting character in the movie, more so than any of the vampires.
Even though it was a somewhat refreshing take on the vampire genre, it was still a pretty predictable movie. You see a couple of cool looking machines early on, and you just know they’re going to come in handy for killing vampires later on (first on that tractor-saw hybrid and then the trash compactor in the utilodor or whatever it was). And they do away with some of the other vampire lore, like garlic and mirrors and some steaks through the heart, and there are really only two surefire ways to get rid of them, beheading and the sun. And the sun is not very reliable north of the
Of the three vampire movies we’ve watched this month, 30 Days of Night is the only one I would categorize as horror, though it wasn’t all that horrifying. I liked it a little bit more than I did Interview with the Vampire, if only because it was less boring and less whiny. And I found the concept interesting, but just wish they hadn’t made the vampires so boring or focused on the sheriff-wife relationship as much. It’s a vampire movie, just focus on the gory stuff.
2 out of 5 stars