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  Publicity Stills of "30 Days of Night"
(Courtesy from Columbia TriStar)

Director: David Slade
Cast: Josh Hartnett, Melissa George, Danny Huston, Ben Foster, Mark Boone Junior
RunTime: 1 hr 53 mins
Released By: Columbia TriStar
Rating: M18
(Violence & Gore)
Official Website: www.30daysofnight.com/

Opening Day: 29 November 2007


For 30 days every winter, the isolated town of Barrow, Alaska is plunged into a state of complete darkness. It's a bitter time when most of the inhabitants head south. This winter, a mysterious group of strangers appear: bloodthirsty vampires, ready to take advantage of the uninterrupted darkness to feed on the residents remaining in town. Barrow's Sheriff Eben (Josh Hartnett), his estranged wife Stella (Melissa George), and an ever-shrinking group of survivors must do anything they can to last until daylight in Columbia Pictures' "30 Days of Night."

Movie Review:

Alright, let’s be honest here. How many vampire films have you seen in your lifetime so far? One too many perhaps. There was the crap fest, Dracula 2000, which unexplainably starred a pre-300 Gerard Butler. There was Interview with the Vampire, a fantastic Anne Rice adaptation starring Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise. And thrown into the mix is of course the terrible B-Grade ones and the classics, which, should remain untouched, just for being brilliant. So, where does 30 Days of Night fit into the mix? Well, that’s the hard part.

There have been film adaptations of Anne Rice’s books and also the comic genre with the Blade Trilogy. 30 Days of Night follows the likes of Sin City and 300, in attempting to be as true as possible to the graphic novel genre. So, the question here is, did 30 Days of Night measure up to the rest in its category?

The town of Barrow, Alaska is nearing its annual 30 days of night, as the name suggests, a whole month of darkness. As some prepare to leave Barrow for sun-filled skies, mysterious happenings start to occur in the town, made more complex by the arrival of a strange man (Ben Foster). Sheriff Eben (Josh Hartnett) starts the investigations only to discover a clan of vampires led by Marlow (Danny Huston), all this while he tries to cope with ex-wife, Stella (Melissa George).

30 Days of Night unfortunately, will not be the best vampire film to see if you want to get hooked on the genre. The vampires are quicker and more brutal, enough to give one the jerks at the start. But soon enough, they do not seem as vicious as they should be. The scares become expected. And ultimately, the attempted scare fest aside, what was left of the film, was nothing but an aimless journey.

For director, David Slade, who directed the compelling and tight Hard Candy, despite it being a little bit long, failed to work wonders with this outing. While he managed to make the coming of the cold and death synonymous with the quiet snowy landscape and the body and blood count in a generously high quotient, the film’s direction and acting was left to freeze. Josh Hartnett practically played Josh Hartnett in other Josh Hartnett films. Seeing Danny Huston, always a good supporting actor, as a vampire was something new and probably the best part of the film but he was just as underused and underutilized as the rest of the other actors who all had underdeveloped characters.

30 Days of Night is a pretty film filled with gore and brutality that fails to live up to its expectation. Pity, I really thought they could have brought something new to the plate. This is one time I dare say, I would rather stick to the graphic novel than watch the film. See it if you really need the cold.

Movie Rating:

(30 Days of Night needs more bite to match its fangs!)

Review by
Mohamad Shaifulbahri



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