I had the opportunity to see this film tonight at a free screening at a theater in Chelsea, NY with the director David Spade, Melissa George and Josh Hartnett all present at the screening and I walked in expecting another run of the mill vampire movie and walked away pleasantly surprised.
It's no question that over the last 9 years the whole Vampire trend has been overdone to death. Blade spawned a sudden interest in a subject that has been around forever but hadn't been refreshed in quite some time. After Blade, enter Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series and so on and so forth until the whole vampire trend had well worn its welcome. A few years pass and here's yet another vampire story. What makes this story any different? The graphic novel, 30 Days of Night, put together by the talented team that worked on Todd McFarlane's stunning "Hellspawn" series, Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith found a way to do something creative within the vampire realm, and its completely to do with premise.
That premise being, vampires being allowed to run amok freely in Alaska during a 30 day period when there is no sun to force them into hibernation during the day. Its simple yet fresh enough to maintain my interest, it's a wonder no one had thought to write this story until now.
What's important to note is that the story does not go into too much detail about the leading characters personal lives, nor does it go into too much detail about the vampires themselves. We don't know how they came to be and what their philosophy is (besides sucking blood) and that's a good thing, Its plunged strait into action and this lack of over characterization, actually helps to strengthen this story.
Despite the Alaska angle the film and the story itself is nothing really original. Even the vampires themselves are nothing we haven't seen before. Black trench coats and a mouthful of fangs, speaking in a foreign tongue with an evil squeal. But it's okay. I've seen it before but that doesn't mean that it's not going to make the movie any less entertaining.
Where this movie is successful is in the fact that it's handled in a very realistic way. Nothing is too over the top, Evan; Josh Hartnett's character is a believable and very human sheriff. He doesn't do anything in this movie that doesn't seem plausible, in fact the film has very little cringe moments and hardy any cheesy dialogue.
But it doesn't take itself too seriously either. It is what it is; an extremely gory movie about vampires killing people and it's thrilling, entertaining and put together very well. Its so basic that it works, not since the Decent had I seen a horror movie that succeeded in this matter by keeping the story basic and believable and not relying on cheap tricks to try and thrill the audience. Of course there's the sudden jump moments, but you don't see Even leaping over dumpsters shooting off semi-automatic weapons and spurting out one liners.
When it comes to the films performances, the supporting actors do a good job and the ever dopey and extremely untalented Josh Hartnett whom I never fail to dislike, in everything he does, somehow seemed almost likable in this movie and I don't know why, but I did like him in this roll.
Some of the shots in this movie are incredible; I can honestly say I've never seen anything like a few scenes that popped up in this movie. There's an overhead shot that spans the entire town amidst all of the chaos of the vampire attack and I can honestly say it is breathtaking.
Overall it's a very strong film for its genre, dare I say one of the best. You simply can't compare it to Citizen Cane, or the Godfather but for what it is, its very good. If you like graphic novels, liked the Decent, like horror or sci-fi. Or Vampires. You'll be pleased. Well worth it for free and if I had played would be satisfied.
30 Days of Night
Horror / Thriller
30 Days of Night
Horror / Thriller
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.
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August 8, 2012 at 9:59 pm