October 19, 2007 30 Days Of Night
Studio: Sony Pictures Rating: R for strong horror violence and language.
According to popular legend vampires can't come out during the day. But imagine a place where the sun doesn't shine leaving the undead to roam free.
That's the premise for "30 Days Of Night."
For the northern city of Barrow, Alaska each year brings an extended period of darkness. In "30 Days Of Night" that quaint little fact is used for horrific purposes. As the long night approaches most of the townsfolk head south. That leaves only a few choose to stay behind and wait for the sun's return.
But evil is traveling to Barrow. For Sheriff Eben Oleson (Josh Hartnett) the only warning comes from a stranger (Ben Foster) who is sitting in his jail.
The sheriff soon discovers Barrow's attackers are a group of vampires. Powerful, swift and savage they've traveled north for an uninterrupted feast in which the town's residents are the main course.
Like the supernatural monsters in the movie, "30 Days Of Night" is a relentless film filled with violence, blood and gore. No one is safe as the vampires systematically uncover the hiding places of Barrow's citizens. Adults, children, even animals feel the vampires' fury.
But the sheriff and his officer wife Stella (Melissa George) emerge as leaders trying to survive for a long, dark month. Their performances are naturally not as flamboyant as the bad guys but they deliver solid work in portraying the hopelessness of the situation.
The best acting here is done by lead vampire (Danny Huston). This is a very bad dude with a nasty plan that works to perfection.
The movie is adapted from a successful graphic novel by writer Steve Niles. Director David Slade stays fairly true to the original story while introducing some new elements for the film.
This is a frenzied, all out assault on your senses which probably isn't appropriate for younger viewers. It's gory and brutally violent but for horror fans those are big selling points. This is a well-made, entertaining effort which could serve to re-energize the vampire genre. However it is not for the faint of heart.
On my rating scale, "30 Days Of Night" hits a Home Run.
As I said, this is a classic "monster siege movie," so I wouldn't get too attached to any of the characters.
You never know who isn't going to make it and that is one of the movie's strong suits.
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