‘30 Days of Night’ doesn’t ‘suck’

Thu, 10/25/2007 - 4:17pm
By: Michael Boylan

Vampire movies have needed some new blood for a long time and “30 Days of Night” gives it to the genre. It is far from perfect, but its unique storyline and visuals round it up from mediocre to good.

The plot revolves around Barrow, Alaska – the most northern town in the United States. Barrow also experiences – you guessed it – 30 days of night, which makes it very attractive for vampires, who are naturally averse to sunlight. Josh Hartnett stars as the sheriff of this beleaguered burg and it is up to him and his (soon to be?) ex-wife to keep as many people safe as possible during the dark time. They don’t do as well as they hoped and that is partially because the vampires, who look like coked-out Euro trash, have hired a mysterious stranger to help them cut off the already super-isolated town. In addition to killing all the sled dogs, they have stolen all the satellites and cell phones and burned them and have shut down the town’s Internet access as well.

As if that wasn’t enough, the vampires also mean to kill and suck the blood of all the townsfolk. What a bunch of mean villains.

Hartnett does a fine job in the film, as does Melissa George (“Alias”) as his wife. The rest of the cast is your fairly standard assortment of townsfolk from the crazy, but maybe not so crazy, hermit, to the geeky teen, the old man, etc. They do fine, but they really don’t add much to the film. Where “30 Days of Night” really succeeds is its visuals. The film is based on a graphic novel of the same name and director Mark Slade uses the light, or lack thereof, and the contrast of dark blood on the white of the snow to great effect. The vampires tend to lurk in the shadows and on the perimeter of the frames on rooftops and in corners and their movement is creepy.

I also enjoyed the plot twist that came at the end. I didn’t see it coming and it really was intriguing.

One thing I hated was the fact that the vampires screech like the dragons in “Dragon War,” a terrible film of which I don’t want to be reminded.

“30 Days of Night” will never top “The Lost Boys,” which is a vampire movie I consider to be among the best, but it does pick the genre up a bit and give it a resurgence like the zombie genre has recently enjoyed.

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