Every year Barrow, Alaska has one month of total darkness. Taking advantage of this, a army of vampires ransack the town; killing all those they encounter and painting the screen red (instead of rationing their food like responsible, grown-up vampires) until a small group of survives fight back. Based on a graphic novel, the premise is promising, but writer-directer team of Brian Nielson and David Slade manage to ruin it with their usual bad dialogue and sloppy camera-work. Also, one has to wonder how much, if any, blood is actually ingested by the vampires as they seem more interested in ripping through bodies just for the sake of doing so and not so much for the sake of feeding. Followed by '30 Days Of Night: Dark Days.'
I haven't actually read the comic this is based on (I can only read so many before the budget runs out), but the film has a lot to digest. It has equal parts inspiration from modern Japanese fantasy films, Bollywood, Chinese supernatural Kung Fu movies from the 70s/80s, indie rock, video games, and the films of John Hughes (tell me the seventh evil ex doesn't look like Judd Nelson on purpose). Overall it's the best film I've seen this summer since Kick-#!@%*#, but with it drawing from so many references there's bound to be a few people in the audience who don't get some of the in-jokes. Thankfully the rest of the humor is broad based enough to appeal to them.
But if you're tired of the same old crap over and over give it a shot. It has it's weaknesses but it's fun, it's light hearted, and there's nothing else out right now half as creative or original, and for that alone it deserves you giving it a chance.
This ain't your Grandaddy's Vampire Flick...
Reviewed by KHL for 30 Days of Night at 2008-04-17 18:15:29
Interesting premise and lots of fun (if you like this kind of thing). Kind of like the remake of Dawn of the Dead's fast zombies, these vampires are the ultimate running, jumping and killing machines. No romance, no sexy vampire cliches (OK they do dress mostly in black), just plain creepy...think of the silent film image of Nosferatu, and Salem's Lot. Hartnett is not bad as the beleaguered town sheriff, and the atmosphere of the dark and cold Alaska town is effective. Ben Foster (3:10 to Yuma) does a great minor role of a psycho who may or may not be connected with the vampires. There's some good humor to measure.
Pretty fun, although probably could've been cut down by about 15 minutes.