A gang of vampires attacks an Alaskan town
that's experiencing a month of darkness.
30 Days of Night (2007)
Directed by David Slade
Written by Steve Niles, Stuart Beattie, Brian Nelson
Starring Josh Hartnett, Melissa George, Danny Huston, Ben Foster, Mark Boone Junior, Mark Rendall, Amber Sainsbury, Manu Bennett
Based on the comic book mini-series by Steve Niles
and Ben Templesmith
30 Days of Night has one of the most brilliant premises ever introduced in a vampire movie. A small town where the sun doesn't rise for thirty days is attacked by a gang of bloodthirsty vampires. How in the name of Van Helsing do you screw that up? Believe it or not, somebody in this production found a way. This film is bland, poorly acted, and lacks a single interesting character. The only things it has going for it are the look of the vampires and the overwhelming sense of isolation. Unfortunately, after all of that's been well-established, there's nowhere else to go.
Josh Hartnett has never been anybody's favorite actor and he proves that yet again with his role as Eben, the sheriff with the stupidest name ever. He's a protagonist with about as much enthusiasm as a loaf of bread and the supporting cast isn't any better. The only one I enjoyed somewhat was Danny Huston as the vampire leader Marlow. I appreciate the attempt at originality by giving him his own language, but it was wholly unnecessary and just came off as annoying most of the time. The film is surprisingly scarier than most vampire movies, if only because it relies on jump scares and gory deaths.
I'm disappointed that this wasn't better. It had serious potential that was squandered by a lukewarm cast and zero character or plot development. The passage of time is ridiculous, as we're supposed to believe a month has passed yet nobody ever changes their clothes or looks any different. There's just so many bad choices that cause 30 Days of Night to fade into the background, doomed to forever be the third choice for "Bad Movie Night."