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6 September 2012

30 Days of Night (2007)

Zombies? I don't know what all the fuss is about. I just watched 30 Days of Night and I much prefer vampires. Okay... that's not strictly true... but I did like the vampires in this film... quite a lot!

"I can smell your blood"
30 Days of Night, Columbia 2007

The premise for this film is brilliant. Imagine an out-of-the-way Alaskan town called Barrow which literally shuts down for the winter as the sun sets for 30 days of bitter night. The vast majority of the town migrate for warmer climes leaving behind a few tough souls to weather the depressing darkness. Only this year something isn't quite right. Even before the residents have packed to leave, odd things are beginning to happen: Huskies are killed; a helicopter is sabotaged; and someone's been out stealing and destroying mobile phones. Oh dear! Nobody's noticed this strange ship that has appeared off the coast, trapped in the ice. Well, I did, and I knew from the off that no good could come of it! I'm clever like that!

30 Days of Night, Columbia 2007

I have told you many times how I love snowy films, and 30 Days is a snowy film! The opening scenes are beautifully shot. The white of the snowy scenery allows for some fantasticly stark framing. I was instantly hooked. You should have seen me smiling to myself right from the get-go. I was loving it.

I'm not one for ruining films by revealing too much, but I think it isn't going to be too much of a shock for me to reveal that the badness comes in the form of vampires who terrorise the townsfolk. Can the luckless Alaskans survive 30 days to be rescued by sunrise? You need to watch it to find out.

Josh Harnett
30 Days of Night, Columbia 2007

Talking of spoilers, I want to point out something that struck me with this film that surprised me, but actually I really liked. A lot of films of this ilk rely upon that age-old film-making trick of holding off full sight of the baddies until the very end where a reveal is made to much thunder and guns. All you tend to get are glimpses here and there. Not so with 30 Days. Once the film has laid the groundwork for the story to begin, we know exactly what we're dealing with. I wondered if this was going to somehow detract from the fun, but no, not at all... I think that it added to the ride.

"Call the police, there's a madman around..."
30 Days of Night, Columbia 2007

If you hadn't already guessed, the baddies are vampires and I had to chuckle to myself when I saw their leader. He reminded me a lot of Neil Tennant, the enegmatic frontman of 80s popsters the Pet Shop Boys. It didn't matter how many times I saw him; I kept expecting him to break into West End Boys as he trudged across the screen in his long dark trench coat. I bet nobody would have seen that coming!

The stars are Josh Harnett (who plays Sheriff Eben) and Melissa George (who plays his ex-wife Stella Artois). Can you spot the embelishment in that last sentence? Josh fitted his part perfectly; He has a Brad Pitt-like air to him which was much needed here. Melissa was prone to a little over-acting from time to time, but generally she did good too.

Melissa George
30 Days of Night, Columbia 2007

It's hard for me to watch a film with this setting and not be drawing comparisons to The Thing. You know that I love that film. 30 Days is not the Thing. There are times where similar camera shots are used (like the long shots of the town that remind us of how isolated it is) but these two films can each stand on their own two feet.

I spotted in the credits that Sam Raimi was a producer. I can't say that he was the creative force behind this, but whoever it was needs a big pat on the back.

And I wasn't expecting the ending. Great!

Oh dear, Oh dear!
30 Days of Night, Columbia 2007

I'm going to end now...

My verdict is going to be a bit of a shock to regular readers of this blog. I'm expecting some hate mail, but you know what? I don't care! I'm in a good mood and quite prepared to reveal on the Triple-B that I'm going to set 8 bear-traps in unlikely places and sit and wait for those bloodsucking parasites. And you know why? Two reasons... 1. We know this town... and 2. because we know how to handle the cold. There's a reason why we live out here in the middle of nowhere... it's because nobody else can! Yeah! Anyone for more vodka?



  1. Russell Crowe sinks his teeth into Count Dracula.

    " The Hollywood vampire looks set for a major makeover as Russell Crowe prepares to play Count Dracula. The brawny Gladiator star is tipped to impersonate Bram Stoker's urbane, bloodsucking European in Harker, a Warner Bros production to be directed by Eli Roth.
    According to Deadline Hollywood, Harker will spin Stoker's 1897 novel into a blood-soaked horror-thriller about a Scotland Yard detective's dogged pursuit of the vampire. The script is by Lee Shipman and Brian McGreevy and the title role of Jonathan Harker has yet to be cast."

    Maybe you need to draw some fangs on Freddy ?-)

  2. Oh...and I'm working on that hate mail,too.-)

  3. Don't you dare! On Crowe - I actually quite like him as an actor. It's just everything else he does...