30 Days of Night

I’m a bit of a vampire fanatic, so this film was a must-watch for me. Based on a graphic novel, 30 Days of Night has an excellent plot. In Barrow, Alaska, they have one month of the year without any sunlight, due to their positioning on the planet. The sun sets, and doesn’t come up for another thirty days. Eastern European vampires have come to hear about this town and their month-long darkness, and decide to take advantage. So the vamps travel to Barrow and when the sun goes down for the last time in a month they go on a killing spree. They’ve had a little helping hand from a human who believes that they will turn him into one of them as a reward, so the town has no sled-dogs, no phone lines, power, etc… They’re basically stuck in the town at the mercy of the vampires.

Josh Harnett plays Eben, the Sheriff of the town. When strange things start happening, he can’t make head nor tail of it… until he goes out to investigate a problem with the power and finds his friend’s head on a pole – then he realises there are some seriously sick weirdos creeping around in the darkness. Paired up with his estranged wife, Stella (played by Melissa George), they investigate what’s going on… and when they realise, it’s time for action. They gather all the residents who haven’t already been killed in the safest place they can think of, and work out how they’re going to survive until the sun comes up… in four weeks’ time. They hole up in the Sheriff’s office, a very cleverly secreted attic and flit from place to place, hoping they won’t be discovered, and slaughtered.

The vamps are picking off more and more of the town’s residents, leaving very dramatic looking stains all over the snow on the ground, and emitting blood-curdling shrieks every now and then. You find yourself wishing the days along for the survivors, but as time goes on, their situation looks more and more grim. Things hot up as the vampires realise that if they don’t kill every person left and destroy the evidence, when the sun comes up and people come back to Barrow, the world will soon rethink their opinions on the existence of vampires. It’s certainly a race against time.

For me, there are generally two kinds of vampires: sexy, hedonistic ones… the type you’d quite like to bite you and make you one of them; and the monstrous ones who rip throats out and generally make lots of mess. And the ones in this film are the latter. They don’t really look that much like vampires, because they have tons of teeth and faces smeared in blood, rather than fangs in the right places. They’re more like gory monsters to me, and that makes them rather less creepy and more slasher-style. But hey, that’s just my opinion.

Overall, I thought this was a good film. The plot itself is absolutely ingenious, but the vamps were just ‘OK’. But in all fairness, I’m not sure sexy vamps would have worked in this kind of flick. The blood on pure white snow and screaming in the pitch darkness probably added to the effect of horror. So if you’re a fan of vampire films, particularly ones with damn clever plots, this is the one. The ending became a little mediocre, but the very end part made up for it. Excellent.

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