"30 Days Of Night" could have gone horribly wrong. With the amount of Horror talent contained within its confines, one almost has to doubt it. Don't. The source material. The director. The producers. The vision. "30 Days Of Night" pulls off all the stops and creates a vampire film to be proud of...a vampire movie that will scare you. It's about time.
Barrow is your normal little American town. Under 600 people. A sheriff who honestly cares about his townsfolk. Everyone knows everyone else and supports them. It also happens to be the northern most town in the US and every year for 30 days they don't see the sun. Most of the population leaves except for the few that need to stay, a little over a hundred or so, which makes it the perfect place for a slaughter. When a group of vampires show up to wreck a little havoc and feast for 30 days without a sun to scare them off, our sheriff and a small group of survivors are going to have to survive hell. Hell has frozen over in Barrow.
For someone who has read the source material, the best aspect of "30 Days Of Night" is the visual side of it. Horror up-and-comer director David Slade perfectly captures that fuzzy and dark gloom of the graphic novel and fills in the negative space with plenty of his own film flair to create a blend of bleak visual weight and kinetic Horror energy. Stunning shots balanced with suspense and ultra violence make this film an intriguing and engrossing experience. Its an almost odd combination of old school vampire Gothic atmosphere and modern day quick cuts that balance each other beautifully (and brutally).
The acting portion of the film also surprised me. Hartnett isn't your normal Horror film fodder, he's good but not necessarily cult good, but his work as the main character Eben (the sheriff) is surprisingly solid. Counter that with Melissa George, of Horror and cult fame already with some well done roles in various films including the epic "Mulholland Dr.", and the duo sparks some nice tense chemistry as a couple on the rocks. Of course though, the film might be stolen by a bit role as the Renfield-esque stranger that the vampires utilize, from our own cult like character actor Ben Foster. The look, the sound, and the general creepiness of his character steals every scene. One more stolen film for Ben Foster!
If you have been looking for a vampire film that doesn't suck (haha...damn I'm funny) then definitely look into "30 Days Of Night". Its violent. Its smart. Its well crafted and it deserves the attention it received from the Horror community.
BONUS FACT: Sam Raimi (producer) and David Slade (director) are rumored to be again collaborating on a reboot of "The Shadow" franchise, which Raimi tried to get the rights to way back when and resulted in "Darkman". If "30 Days Of Night" wets your whistle than this news should excite you. It sure does me!
Written By Matt Reifschneider