Last Halloween saw it’s many choices for Horror movies. Me? I saw 30 Days of Night, opting out of the Saw franchise once and for all. Before I caught the flick I went down to Borders and gave a gander to the first graphic novel in the series that the film was based on. Set mostly out on the Alaskan tundra in a dim blizzard, the art had a fuzzy/blurry style which greatly contrasted with the invading vampires, who had twisted faces and mouths full of sharp teeth. The film matched this style well enough, it was less like 300 and Sin City than I thought it would be, but thats all for the better, watching a slice and dice horror film like this requires less of an artistic approach anyways. The more artsy it is, the less realistic it is, and the harder it is for me to get frightened.
The beginning was really, really slow but it picked up. I really enjoyed how the vampires looked and talked, they rarely spoke in English and that made them extremely effective as serious horror characters. It makes so much sense that they would move to an area that has a month of darkness each year. Alaska is Vampire heaven! In that respect, I also greatly enjoyed the small Alaskan town as a character. They used the town’s unique traits well, secluded and dark for days on end, houses designed for snowstorms, snow clearing machinery, a pipeline right on the outskirts of the town, all were ripe for plot twists and tone. Only one thing didn’t make sense… it was a small town with only about 60 houses max, why didn’t the vampires tear each house apart from top to bottom in their quest for fresh victims? Its certainly not because they weren’t invited in, they seem to have no trouble entering other houses uninvited, so that old vampire idea is out. Instead they hang around rooftops for an entire month, waiting for their victims to run out of food and do something stupid like run to the store.
In the end, if you can handle Josh Hartnett for over an hour, you may enjoy 30 Days of Night. However, there is little replay value beyond the first sitting. The humans weren’t memorable enough to require repeat viewings, I certainly didn’t miss anything the first time around. There was an old guy, a heavy set funny guy, a hot girl, a handsome hero guy. Trapped in a small town with a great evil descending. Haven’t we seen this before? The scares weren’t plentiful enough to make it a yearly Halloween rental either. Instead we have a flick with perfect vampires and a few quality kills. To me, that merits a strong first watch but a forgettable film afterwards.