30 Days of Night (2007) Review

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With having a week off work I needed something to watch so as usual I loaded up Netflix to browse the horror films, nothing new really took my fancy. Then I saw 30 Days of Night I’d seen it before but only once not long after it was released. So I thought why not revisit it, from what little memories I have it was a half decent film at least.

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Director – David Slade

Writers – Steve Niles, Stuart Beattie and Brian Nelson

Comic By – Steve Niles and Ben Templessmith

Stars – Josh Hartnett, Melissa George, Danny Huston, Ben Foster, Mark Boon Junior and Mark Rendall.

Budget – $32 million estimated

Run Time – 113 minutes

Tagline – They’re Coming!

First off everyone knows that snowy cold places combined with a lot of blood make for stunning visuals in a horror film. This film duly delivers on that front, it’s not over the top gory but there is enough to take advantage of the snowy backdrop. It’s a real simple plot but one that surprisingly I have never seen used before. In Alaska lies Barrow, the most northerly based town and in that town every year there’s a spell where the inhabitants that choose to live there experience 30 days of night. Now if you were a vampire why the hell wouldn’t you venture there and fill your vampire belly full of blood for 30 straight days and nights.

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These vampires are even smarter than that they send one human a head. With a lot of the towns residents leaving for the 30 days of night this human has one simple job or rather many simple jobs. He is there to make sure the remaining blood bags have no way of escaping once his vampire brethren pop up and start eating people. As with all films like this we need a hero and it comes in the form of Josh Hartnett’s Sherrif Eben Oleson. Luckily for him and us his wife Stella Oleson played by Melissa George misses her flight out of the town.

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The two are having problems and are planning to separate but it seems that fighting vampires and surviving impossible odds may well be the best way to save a marriage or is it? The film is mostly the remaining people in the town hiding from the vampires for days on end as they pick off any stragglers. Danny Huston plays the lead vampire and from what I got the other vampires with him seem to lack his intelligence and they act on his command.

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There’s some great scenes of vampires being killed in many ways throughout the film and it shows the struggle people face when their family and friends are in trouble. What I liked most was the ending, I can see how it would annoy certain people but I really liked it. If you’re after a fairy tale ending then this isn’t the film for you.

The Good

  • The overall story of vampires attacking a village that has a month with no sunlight is a fantastic idea, lifted from a graphic novel I’m real surprised this hasn’t been used before.
  • Josh Hartnett and Melissa George are strong in their roles as the main characters.
  • There’s an epic scene when one of the characters takes on the vampires with a big truck, a shotgun and some dynamite.
  • As I mentioned the blood on the snowy backdrop looks great and it always will look great.
  • The atmosphere of isolation and seemingly no hope stranded in such a cold unforgiving place is easily the films greatest strength.
  • Some decent kills and the right amount of gore.

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The Bad

  • Could have had more interesting side characters, I liked Beau played by Mark Boone Junior other than that the rest were forgettable when they could have been a major positive.
  • Sometimes the films take a few dips where things move a bit slow.
  • I’d like to know a bit more about the vampires, where they came from etc.

There’s not really many negatives to this film but it is missing something, it has enough blood and action to keep people interested and it looks great as well. It’s worth your time if you’ve never seen it before, it is probably a tad too long.

Overall Rating – 7/10 

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