In 1921, England is overwhelmed by the loss and grief of World War I. Hoax exposer Florence Cathcart visits a boarding school to explain sightings of a child ghost. Everything she believes unravels as the 'missing' begin to show themselves.
This is the story of an isolated Alaskan town that is plunged into darkness for a month each year when the sun sinks below the horizon. As the last rays of light fade, the town is attacked by a bloodthirsty gang of vampires bent on an uninterrupted orgy of destruction. Only the small town's husband-and-wife Sheriff team stand between the survivors and certain destruction. Written by
A Breath of Fresh Bloody Air for the Vampire Legend!!
"30 Days of Night" is a very welcome addition to the ranks of vampire movies. This one is strictly for horror fans, not for doily-draped gender-confused romantics dreaming of third degree hickies from pretty fanged lovers in New Orleans.
The fun begins in the first frame, courtesy of the evocative setting, a snowbound town at the Northern edge of America. The only iffy moment comes with the introduction of Josh Hartnett as the town sheriff. Young and movie star handsome, he threatens to come off as unbelievable, like the Ben Affleck sheriff in "Phantoms." Hartnett, however, despite his young years, has the gravitas to pull off this role, and director David Slade gets masterful performances from all the fine actors in this film.
Melissa George is scrumptiously beautiful. (Her mouth is so cute it should be patented.) She's also an excellent actress, who horror fans should remember from the recent (and highly recommended) remake of The Amityville Horror. With her endearing little girl face and keen talent for playing it straight under the most fantastic of circumstances, she's likable, sympathetic and totally believable in this role.
What really sets this film apart though is its portrayal of the vampires. Someone obviously boned up on ancient vampire legends, because these are the most authentic movie vampires since Boris Karloff's "wurdalak" in Mario Bava's "Black Sabbath" 40 years ago.
Speaking in a strange Eastern European tongue (Romanian? or Hungarian?) these creatures bear the remains of human personalities, but are purely evil; cunning and vicious and blood-stained, like vampires were before Bram Stoker introduced the "new improved" (i.e. sanitized) Victorian model and Anne Rice gussied it up even more.
Fans of Kathryn Bigelow's "Near Dark" and John Carpenter's "Vampires" will appreciate the high action and body count. The story is a bit slimmer than either of those two films (it is based on a comic book, after all) but it's very atmospheric and suspenseful, with superb production values all around.
The visual efx are topnotch, especially when they're subtle, such as snowflakes adding their magical luster to a scene. The special make-up efx (blood and guts et al) are completely believable, but aside from a few very graphic images and much spilled blood in the snow, are not as overwhelming as some overly squeamish reviewers have claimed.
The cinematography is gorgeous, and is enhanced by the seamlessly integrated visual effects noted above.
If you're in the mood for a nicely paced, well-produced, superbly directed movie that'll satisfy your craving for a dose of traditional horror, you can't go wrong with this one.
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