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30 Days of Night – Review

30 Days of Night – Review

Jan 16, 2010

reviewed by Hallo
directed by David Slade, 2007
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It would be hard to imagine a better setting for a vampire movie than a city in Alaska that experiences 30 straight days of night.  That is exactly the setting of the 2007 film 30 Days of Night directed by David Slade.  Eben Oleson (Josh Harnett) is the sheriff of a small Alaskan town called Barrow.  The town is preparing for a 30 day period in the winter when the sun will not be seen by the residents – some opt to leave the town during that time which leaves only a few “hardcore” residents behind.  Of course, once the darkness sets in, the vampires attack and the remainder of the movie follows the attempts of a small group, led by Oleson, to survive for the 30 days until the sunlight will drive the vampires away.  The love interest is Oleson’s estranged wife Stella (Melissa George) and they naturally rekindle their love for one another during the 30 days of hiding.

The film is beautifully shot and a pleasure to watch; the colors of the Alaska countryside are stunning and provide an inviting yet cold and lonely feel to them.  The vampires also look pretty good, and Slade attempts to give them an “other world” feel by providing them with their own special vampire language, for which subtitles was used.  I’m still trying to decide whether or not this contributed to the film.  Some of the kill scenes are effective and there are a handful of tense moments that work well with the “hiding out” theme of the movie.  As you watch, you see the days begin counting down and it feels like day number 30 will never get there.

What is bizarre about the film is the random decision making on the part of the 4-5 residents who are still alive.  More than once they will be hiding out in what seems to be a pretty darn good location, at which they have survived for a few days, until Oleson or someone else will declare, “we have to keep moving.”  I kept wondering. . .why?  That spot seems to be working pretty good for ya, what advantage is another hiding place going to give them?  Another curious aspect of the film is why the vampires, of which there are many, spend so much time (multiple days) trying to find a group of 4-5 people.  It’s not like they are out for revenge or anything, they just want blood.  So move on for goodness sake.  It would be different if the “30 days of night” setting were in New York City or another location where there are hundreds of thousands of people, but who cares if it is even 100 days of night if there are only 5 people to eat?  I know it’s awesome that the vampires don’t have to go into hiding for 30 days, but the reward is not near worth that luxury.  Finally, the ending is a major letdown.  After surviving for 29 and 1/2 days, Oleson decides that the only to defeat them is become one of them (granted, he is also trying to figure out a way to save Stella who is trapped under a truck).  So, he somehow figures out that if he injects a certain amount of their blood into his veins, he will develop most of their powers but still have his own mental faculties.  A fight between him and the “head” vampire ensues, a fight that is fairly lame and an ultimate let down.

30 Days of Night is not a bad movie and a decent watch if you are into the vampire genre.  I found it to be a bit of a letdown when taken as a whole from start to finish.

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3 comments

  1. Hated this movie. It just did nothing for me, watched it from start to finish thinking in my mind this is stupid, these people are idiots.

  2. Rennie /

    I actually thought this was a nice change for Josh Hartnett from the other crap he has been involved with. I definitely agree with your review, a 2 year old could have made better decisions.

  3. Mike – I think you are not alone in your evaluation of the movie. Thanks for reading!

    Rennie – Thanks for your comments and for checking out our little site. Hope to hear from you again.

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