When feuding brothers David (Andy Serkis) and Peter (Reece Shearsmith) abduct a young woman (Jennifer Ellison) and hole up in a remote rural cottage, their hostage quickly turns the tables on her captors. But soon, it’s all for one when they find that the deranged farmer next door is the real threat. Hellraiser’s Doug Bradley makes a cameo in this blood-drenched yet humor-laced terror treat from writer-director Paul Andrew Williams.
Written by: Steve Niles, Stuart Beattie, Brian Nelson
Directed by: David Slade
Starring: Josh Hartnett, Melissa George, Danny Huston, Mark Boone Junior
A vicious gang of subtitle-speaking vamps roll into Barrow, Alaska – the northernmost town in the U.S. – looking for a month-long buffet table thanks to the town getting cut off from the sun every winter, giving the vamps 30 straight days of night to feed without having to worry about that pesky sunlight turning them into crispified pork rinds.
From the twisted-genius mind of Steve Niles comes the long-awaited adaptation of his breakout 2002 comic book miniseries of the same name. Where to start? I love the vamps, always had a soft spot for them, but for so many years I’ve grown to hate vampire movies with a passion; mostly due to the fact that I had no desire to watch yet another lame, bloodless love story where some modern day chick looked just like the ancient vamp’s former ‘one & only true love’, and he’d do anything, even kill those close to her to get her, or die himself, to be with her…BLAH, and YAWN.
But, I always knew that if the filmmakers stayed anywhere remotely as true as possible to the graphic novel from whence this story came though, that this would be the flick to break that flimsy mold and bring back the days of kickass carnage that my youth held (and still holds, actually) so dearly thanks to vampire movies with actual bite like NEAR DARK, THE LOST BOYS, or VAMP; or even more recent offerings from the 1990’s such as FROM DUSK TILL DAWN or JOHN CARPENTER’S VAMPIRES. There were liberties taken with the source material here, of course, like there will be with any adaptation, but they took nothing away from my enjoyment of this movie – even enhanced it in many places.
Acting-wise, Josh Hartnett finally impressed me. There was an arc to his character that he played very well and very believably, proving that the boy has come a very long way as an actor since his previous brooding days in genre efforts like HALLOWEEN H20 and THE FACULTY earlier in his career. The always gorgeous & talented Melissa George has become quite the horror/sci-fi actress in the last 10 years, and I love her for it – another great job! Genre cameo fave Mark Boone Junior has a little more meat to chew on than normal with his role here, and his contribution to the battle is well worth the price of admission. As for Danny Huston and the rest of the vamps – if that wasn’t perfect casting, then there is no such thing. Every single actor/actress in vampire mode was not only creepy as hell, but very convincing in their parts – especially given the fact that all they had to work with was an ancient language, facial expressions, a few sound effects, and ripping out throat meat to get at the warm blood inside their victims.
David Slade is fast becoming one of my “Directors to watch”, what with not only knocking it out of the park with this flick, but also directing one of my favorites of 2006 – the intense as all hell, feel like you need a shower after a visit from Uncle Bad Touch, let’s get revenge on the pedophile flick, HARD CANDY. He pulls no punches here either – the vamp violence is 100% R-rated goodness with ripped out throats, severed limbs, and CGI blood spraying all over the snow in an excellently choreographed overhead-view massacre, just to name a few.
30 DAYS of NIGHT is an intense, brutal, blood-soaked ride that rarely ever slows down to catch its breath, and with an almost two-hour running time that is no easy feat. These vampires aren’t looking for love in all the wrong places; they desire only to feast on our blood, then destroy the evidence and move on to the next town for the next meal. For the first time in many years, the vampire movie is back with a vengeance and I, for one, say that it’s about f*cking time!
30 Days of Night (2007)