Vampires are one of those mythological creatures that have been portrayed very extensively throughout movie history. Actually, the first movie to feature a vampire was Le Manoir Du Diable from motherfucking 1896! Of course, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, written in 1897, is one of the most famous vampires and I’m betting you have your Dracula actor. For me, that actor is Gary Oldman from Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula. With all this being said, it’s pretty damn hard to make an original Vampire movie. Perfect Creature is an interesting example, along with Shadow of the Vampire and The Addiction, but 30 Days of Night is the only entry here that’s entertaining. Think of Blade and Daybreakers that offered something new in a genre where most of the movies are formulaic and looking to cash in. Directed by David Slade, the guy behind another cool movie Hard Candy, this is an interesting horror with one gimmick that works perfectly. While most of the movies worked with the usual day/night cycle, here they are working with polar nights that are much, much longer. This gives a whole new perspective on the whole thing because here you can have these “prolonged” sequences. However, 30 days of Night also honors age old traditions when it comes to vampire movies so you have clearly defined party that’s supposed to battle the vampires and save their town.
Welcome to Barrow, a small town in Alaska where a “30 Days of Night” festival is about to start, as its inhabitants are celebrating the return of the polar night. So far away from any civilization and covered in snow, Barrow was pretty much protected from any types of attacks. Soon, this will change. The few ways out of town have been cut and communication has also been disabled, as sheriff Eben Oleson starts thinking that something is seriously wrong. The following night, he will know that something is terribly wrong…
Another thing that this movie had going for it is the cast. Starring Josh Hartnett and Melissa George, its supporting cast is also pretty strong with actors like Mark Boone Junior, Ben Foster and Peter Feeney. Shot in New Zealand, it also looks glorious. It has a lot of snow, which is always good. If you’re by any chance a fan of snow movies, you will love this one. The gore is pretty good too, without fake CGI special effects and with a lot of gratuitous shots. There’s a lot of action in general and this is actually a plus because the movie didn’t get bogged down in the fake philosophical or atmospheric stuff. Last thing we need is another preachy vampire who is explaining his evil plan for the fifth time. A sequel titled 30 Days of Night: Dark Days was released on October 5, 2010 as a straight to home video as well as a prequel mini-series, Blood Trails, so if you’re hungry for more check them out (although they are not as good as the original).
Director: David Slade
Cast: Josh Hartnett, Melissa George, Danny Huston, Ben Foster, Peter Feeney, Mark Boone Junior
Fun Stuff: Most of the night shots were actually shot during the day, using the day-for-night process.