30 Days of Night, based on a comic book vampire miniseries of the same name came out in the year 2007. As the 31 Days of Halloween reaches the end, here is the review!
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. — Written by ahmetkozan, IMDb
Many Horror Movies
While I may not be much of a fan of comic books, 30 Days of Night got my attention when I first watched it. I would have been around 12 years old on my first viewing. As I have mentioned before, I watched many horrors as a child and needless to say, this one didn’t disappoint and is still a worthy addition to any horror collection.
The isolated and seemingly desolate landscapes of the Alaskan wilderness provide a haunting backdrop for the opening moments of a month of night. It begins with an unknown man, staring vacantly into the distance as he trudges towards the town of Barrow.
Set just before the seasonal; thirty days of night or “Polar night,” whereas the sun is relentlessly out of sight sets an eerie tone early on. When we first see the town itself a local family has had their dogs violently slaughtered and the main protagonist, Eben Oleson played by Josh Hartnett, who is the local sheriff has been called in to investigate.
Other strange occurrences have happened in the town, further increasing Eben’s anxiety. Phones have been stolen and burnt, a helicopter totaled and the internet along with the power entirely down.
The unknown man from the beginning is arrested by Eben not long after for causing a scene in the diner over raw meat and rum. It isn’t long before the vampires descend and begin to pick off the townspeople.
Not Just Any Vampire
The snow, falling almost silently with the darkness around it is contrasted grimly by the sudden pounce of the vampires’ and the screams of the townspeople as dragged away, leaving nothing but their trails of blood the vampires are quick to conceal themselves back into the shadows.
I thought the effect of the blood staining the perfect white snow was fantastically done. The blood congealing on the freezing surface added further to the trapped sense of being hunted as the survivors tried to find a place to hide.
The vampires themselves are very impressive. Possessing superhuman strength, a clinical intellect and a complete disregard for the lives of the humans they kill. They speak a strange, almost animal-like language and appear to be still wearing the same clothes from their turning into their spiritual selves.
Neglecting the traditional vampire appearance; they have sharp elongated fangs and skin pale as snow, they reminded me at times of orcs or goblins with blood and gore running down their faces.
Danny Huston plays the leader of the vampire pack; while many of the pack seem almost feral and animal-like, his character, Marlow, comparatively well dressed and more manipulative with both his kind and townsfolk makes him stand out from the others.
The humans, after becoming aware of their hellish threat find the weapons utterly useless against the vampire horde and a cat and mouse game unfolds.
The scene where Eben encounters a resident of the town intrigued me, as it was someone whom he already knew, turned by the vampires and pled with Eben to save him. Eben ends up impaling him on a swing set, most certainly an emotionally devastating thing to have to do for the protagonist.
It also marks the first point in the movie where a vampire is killed, with Marlow staring in an almost disbelief at the dismembered face of the man on the ground before him. This sequence directly followed the sweeping of all the houses by the vampires, instructed to keep searching for survivors to devour.
The anxiety and suspense while they nervously try to keep quiet are cut short by a lone man outside in the snow. He is of course quickly set upon, and the pack silently continued their search for prey.
During heavy snowfall and gale force winds towards the end of the movie, the last few survivors chance escape and trudge through the snow to find supplies but they become stranded until it passes while a few people head to the station.
Eben then creates a diversion by running to his grandmother’s house. While there he burns Marlow’s companion, Iris, with ultraviolet light to such effect that Marlow has to kill her.
Soon after, another diversion happens by Beau, the town snow plow operator. He manages to take out several vampires before unsuccessfully trying to blow himself up. Eben kills Carter at the station, where the transformation happens.
What To Say
Well, if that doesn’t have you wish to watch the movie, I don’t know what will. The vampires themselves, entirely different than what we are used to with an intellect well above humans and a unique look, is worth the time.
Night for thirty days, trapped in a secluded town preyed on by vicious vampires… what do you do?