Genres: Horror, Thriller

Rated: R

Country: USA

Year: 2007

Runtime: 113 minutes

Studio: Sony


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Review done by: Serial McKiller
Online since: February 20th, 2006
Hosted by:  Yahoo!
Starring: Josh Hartnett, Melissa George, Danny Huston, Ben Foster, Amber
Sainsbury, Mark Boone Junior, Manu Bennett, Craig Hall, Joel Tobeck

Director: David Slade

Synopsis: Based on the graphic novel, this is the story of an isolated
Alaskan town that is plunged into darkness for a month each year when the
sun sinks below the horizon. As the last rays of light fade, the town is
attacked by a bloodthirsty gang of vampires bent on an uninterrupted orgy
of destruction. Only the small town's husband and wife Sheriff team stand
between the survivors and certain destruction.


I can finally say something nice about producer Sam Raimi's Ghost House
Pictures. And that something is that they've finally managed to produce a film
that doesn't suck. At the same time they still have a long way to go to do
better than this. "30 Days of Night" is a survival story of a small Alaskan
town cut off and under total darkness for thirty days, that's attacked by a
rogue group of vampires. At the head of the survivors is the sheriff Eben,
played by Josh Hartnett and his ex Stella played by Mellisa George. Things
start out flowing fast when Ben Foster's drifter character comes in and helps
in, cutting off the people from escaping and manages to provide the only
really interesting character. Now I like Josh Hartnett, I've seen a lot of his
films and like a good chunk of them, the guy knows good parts. However
here he seems a bit dead the whole time. Also he really felt too young and
out of it. I think it required someone older.

Less Josh Hartnett and more Josh Brolin I think. But even more so than that
was the lack of concern you gained with these people. It wasn't that they
were horrid, wicked or unlikable, it's just that they weren't particularly
engaging either. The film is based off of the ground breaking graphic novel
series of the same name and no I've surprisingly never gotten around to
reading it. It's possible that would have changed my feeling about it. I've had
chances to, but it just never worked out. The screenplay is even by the
novel's writer Steve Niles and is directed by David Slade of the fantastic
thriller "Hard Candy". Here he's still doing a terrific job of delivering strong,
bold visuals, but he goes for this fast motion, shaky cam action that's far too
rough and is too distracting. Also the pacing took some getting used to, but
after a while even in the loud, noisy, bloody parts it came off a little stale.

Graphically however a lot of great effects work is here. There's a lot of really
nasty and gruesome stuff, that's highly impressively used. There's a couple
of really well done action sequences, including one that ends in a long
tracking shot from about two hundred feet in the air looking down. Also the
score is really quite good. It's some sort of electric power mixed with sound
effects and it can really help things along when you're struggling to see who's
being attacked or where they've run to now. Out of the band of people
traveling together trying to stay alive, the only one of any interest was Mark
Boone Junior's character Bo, an outsider in the town who lives on the out
skirts. He provides some real hardcore ass kicking for a while against the
head vampire played by Danny Huston. Huston, who's great at playing talky
villains, now plays a quieter, bloodier and foreign speaking one.

He's really creepily made up with the large, black eyes and the mouth full of
crooked fangs. Unfortunately it seems mostly all he does is circle and roar...
like a good bit of the face time vamps. I had a lot of high hopes for "30 Days
of Night" and yes I'm disappointed, but at the same time I found happiness
in knowing that Raimi can produce something that's not terrible. The finale
for me went from boring to pretty demented at the very end, but it seemed
somewhat poetic. I think at the end of the day in these sort of survival films
we want to see chaos, but also poetry. We want darkness, fear, tension and
rage, but also ideals and glimpses of light through the darkness (nothing
puny within that meant). '30 Days of Night' provides tons of chaos, but oh
so little light.

Overall: 6/10
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