Every year, the small
Alaskan town of Barrow falls into darkness for thirty days and an exodus of
those who cannot bear the constant night, leaving just one hundred and fifty
seven people. This year is different however. As a series of strange vandalisms
occur and the town dogs are viscously killed, local sheriff Eben Oleson (Hartnett)
arrests a stranger (Foster) who warns him that death is coming to their town.
As the last plane leaves and the darkness falls, they arrive and series of
bloody murders occur. With electricity cut off and all communications with
the outside world destroyed, Eden and the town folk have to survive for the
When it comes to describing
the quintessential vampire movies there would be much debate amongst horror
fans but can '30 Days of Night' add to that argument?
The vampire has been
a horror favourite since the dawn of the motion picture. From the classic
silent movie 'Nosferatu' in 1922, through Bela Lugosi's 'Dracula' in 1931,
on to Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee battling it out in the 1958 Hammer
classic, to 80s classics 'Fright Night', 'Lost Boys' and 'Near Dark', and
onto 'An Interview with a Vampire', the 'Blade' trilogy and the 'Underworld'
movies, blood suckers have fascinated film goers for decades. Their popularity
only increased with the hit shows 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' and 'Angel' but
most of these stuck to the standard vampire lore that has been with us since
Bram Stoker first out pen to paper until now.
Based on the best
selling and critically acclaimed comic book series, '30 Days of Night' reinvigorates
the vampire movie and takes a big swipe at the antiquated vampire lore that
has dictated the rules of the genre for many a decade. The undead, blood sucker
is now a more predatory animal, hunting in packs and gorging on victim's blood
like never before. While still immortal and killed by sunlight, gone are the
religious elements such as crosses and holy water and stakes through the heart
to be replaced by a simple decapitation as the method of killing a vampire.
This makes '30 Days of Night' one of the bloodiest movies you will ever see
and the fact that it is set against a background of snow, makes it all the
more visually striking.
What draws you into
this new vampire tale is the story and the new take on cinematic vampire.
This is a survival horror movie, set in the remote Alaskan town of Barrow,
where ever year the sun disappears for thirty days of continual darkness.
This attracts a group of vampire to feed on the townsfolk that remain but
with no sunlight, their attacks are relentless, never ending and extremely
bloody. This is very different to what we have seen before. Animalistic and
predatory, the vampires have mouths full of fangs, nails as sharp as knives,
skin as pale as snow and eyes as dark as the night that surrounds them. They
hunt as a pack, a killing unit that jump and ambush their pray, ripping out
their throats and gorging on the flowing blood. It is up to local sheriff
Eben Oleson to save the surviving townsfolk but what makes this movie different
is that no one is save, even children, dogs and old people, the characters
that no horror movie dares to touch when survival is on the line.
The performances of
the cast make you care about what happens to them, adding to the tension of
the movie. Josh Hartnett might not have been everyone's first choice as sheriff
Eben Oleson but this is his best role for a long time. Having to take responsibility
for the survival of his brother, estranged wife and the rest of the survivors,
Hartnett shows that he can be more than just the heartthrob. Melissa George
continues to makes sways into Hollywood. The Australian beauty gives another
fine performance as a strong female character, which can handle herself and
not just scream her head off every time a vampire appears. Ben Foster excels
in his creepy Stranger but stealing the film is a barely recognisable but
extremely terrifying Danny Huston as head vampire Marlow. He is a character
that will stay will you for a very long time and become a classic of the genre.
'30 Days of Night'
is not only a classic vampire movie but also one of the best horror movies
to come along in a very long time. Tension filled, overflowing with blood
and gore and some of the best cinematography in a horror film for a long time,
this is destined to become a cult classic of the genre and a firm favourite
for all fans of vampire movies.
The Blu-Ray disc
presents the movie in High Definition wide screen 1:85 up to 1080p, with Dolby
TrueHD 5.1 surround sound.
Josh Hartnett, Melissa George and producer Rob Tapert
The two stars and the producer provide a commentary for track for this reinvigoration
of the vampire genre. With behind the scenes stories from the New Zealand
production, the trio provide a detailed commentary for '30 Days of Night'
and one that fans will enjoy.
30 Images of Night
View comparison images between the movie and the original images from the
Director David Slade, producer Rob Tapert, executive producer Nathan Kahane,
writer Brian Nelson, director of photography Jo Willems, production designer
Paul Austerberry and stars Josh Hartnett, Melissa George, Danny Huston and
Mark Rendall take you behind the scenes of '30 Days of Night'. Split into
sections entitled 'Preproduction', 'Building Barrow', 'The Look, Blood, Guts
and the Nasty #@$&!', 'Stunts', 'The Vampire', 'Night Shoots' and 'Casting',
this collection of featurettes cover all aspects of the film's production.
Previews of 'Sleuth', 'Sleep', 'Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story', 'Fear.net'
and 'The Messengers'
The Blu-Ray treatment
for '30 Days of Night' is one that fans should enjoy. The behind the scenes
featurettes are very good and the commentary track is one that fans should
enjoy. There isn't any invention here that will differentiate this from the
DVD version however, as film companies fail to take advantage of the new storage
and interactive capacity of this new format.