30 Days of Night (2007)

On the 30th night of my 31 nights of horror marathon, I picked a film with an appropriate name. Bonus, it’s a vampire movie, so I think I’ve covered pretty much all of the horror sub-genres.

Remember when vampires were scary monsters and dating one was the last thing on your mind? 30 Days of Night has those vampires.

With sunlight being the biggest danger to these monsters, what happens when a group of them come to a town in the far north, where the sun doesn’t cross back above the horizon for a month during the winter?

That’s the premise, and it works pretty well. The movie is dark and atmospheric. You’ve got characters you can care about and fear for their safety, portrayed by actors who can pull it off. The creature makeup is understated, but effective enough to make them scary and NOT someone you want to kiss.

30 Days of Night was fun and suspenseful, but it left me a little unsatisfied. I had too many questions and more than a few things just didn’t make sense.

The story starts off great. Small town. We get introduced to the main characters. Strange acts of vandalism start happening and the sherif goes out to investigate. He (and you) realize later that these acts were all designed to cut the town off from outside help or escape. It’s fantastic, especially since you only get glimpses of the attackers as people disappear. So the first part of the movie was amazing, but then it became less so as the film immediately kicks into overdrive and the vampires slaughter almost the entire town… in just the first night. Why did it matter that the area had no sunlight for thirty days, if the vampires didn’t need that long to kill everyone? They didn’t even seem to be draining peoples blood, just chewing on their necks for a few seconds before moving on to the next victim. Maybe they are really energy vampires, feeding on the terror they cause? I don’t know, none of us do because the vampires don’t even speak english! They talk in some made up vampire language, which is creepy as hell, but leaves us without any insight into the vampires motivations, plans, culture… anything.

I liked the movie, mostly for the cast performances, so I’m not going to say, they should have done X, or I would have changed Y. It was well done and and entertaining. I will say, however that I would like to see either a re-boot, or similar movie done, that has fewer vampires, and has them picking off townspeople more slowly over the course of the thirty days/nights. It would be fare more suspenseful and maybe more mysterious.

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