As I said, the movie takes place in Barrow, Alaska which is as we know the northernmost part of Alaska. It is an isolated town that has no roads and is 30 miles from the next closest town. Once a year they have a month of total darkness. A month of darkness will eventually bring vampires. These vampires-lead by Marlow (played by Danny Huston) -are your stereotypical vampires; well dressed, fast, strong, and thirsty for blood. They arrived to Barrow by a ship. Why are they traveling by ship? Is the crew on that ship dead? Questions that are not answered that may have made the movie better. When they arrive by ship they send a messenger/stranger (played very impressively by Ben Foster) to kill some dogs, cut the power, phone lines and basically leave the people of Barrow without any contact outside of their town.
The sheriff in town, Eban, is played by Josh Hartnett. His ex-wife, brother, grandmother and the rest of the 150 some people left in town are stranded with no ability to contact anyone for help. This leads to a feeding spree by the vampires. As I said there are some great shots of the vampires attacking in this movie. Take a look at the cool over head shot of all the people running from the vampires when the town starts to fall apart. It is a shot that displays the chaos of the town and great helplessness. This is a moment of great horror.
All that is left is Eban and the rest of the survivors running for their lives. They hide in an attic, make way to a general store for supplies, and try to survive till the sun comes back. A large problem with the film is how the director shows the passing of time during the 30 days. We are supposed to believe that they have been hiding from the vampires without much food, water, and do not move from their hiding spots. I would say it feels more like 3 days total. The only way I noticed that days were passing was I saw Hartnett start the film with no hair on his face and by 18 days he had a little bit of stubble.
Is this a bad movie? Not at all. It has some good moments that will scare you and show some bloody gore (if that is what you like). The acting is very respectable- Ben Foster is really good- and the setting is smart and makes a good vampire movie. Ebert and I pretty much saw this movie eye to eye. It has the right idea but just falls short. Ebert says, “I award the movie two and a half stars because it is well-made, well-photographed and plausibly acted, and is better than it needs to be.” Vampire movies have obviously been done before but when they are done right they can be very cool. So should you see this movie? Sure thing! It is not one of the Twilight movies.
Written by Leo Brady
MOVIE: 30 DAYS OF NIGHT
STARRING: JOSH HARTNETT; DANNY HUSTON; MELISSA GEORGE; BEN FOSTER
DIRECTED BY: DAVID SLADE
AMovieGuy.com's RATING: 2 ½ STARS (Out of 4)
If Barrow, Alaska has 30 days of night, then of course vampires would find this to be the number one vacation spot for sucking human blood. 30 Days of Night is another vampire movie that has a pretty cool plot but comes up short in the end. Overall, it is not a bad movie and there are some scenes of well done shots by Director David Slade. So this is a better scary movie but when the credits start it is a movie that had a lot more potential.