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30 Days of Night 2: Dark Days (2010) Movie Review

Article by SisterRoboto of

Directed By: Ben Ketai

Nearly a year after the vampire siege of Barstow, Alaska, lone survivor Stella (Kiele Sanchez) discovers that she isn’t alone when she’s recruited to eradicate the vampire menace once and for all. Her waking hours filled mourning the death of her late husband and her dreams haunted by visions of the creatures that turned him into a monster, Stella becomes the subject of much ridicule when she makes it her mission to convince the public that vampires truly exist.

First of all, let me say I really enjoyed the first 30 Days of Night movie prior to this one.  I thought David Slade provided a nice sense of dread and it was refreshing to see vampires be REAL vampires again after so many films are unsuccessful with this effort.  In the original, vampires descend on an Alaskan town where the sun doesn’t rise for an entire month. This one delivered tension, scares, and sufficient gore, all despite having Josh Hartnett as it’s leading man. In contrast, ‘Dark Days’ is a cheap-looking cheesefest that wastes the few good ideas it has with stupid effects. When I found out there was a sequel I was excited to see it until you hear the dreaded words “straight to DVD”. This lessened my enthusiasm and for good reason.

My biggest problem with the sequel is the actress playing “Stella Oleson” is a different woman, so to me it almost seems like two different stories entirely. I did not care for this new Stella character nearly as much as in the original. Stella plays a survivor from the first film that has now left Alaska and moved to Los Angeles where she spends her time trying to spread the word about what happened to the town of Barrow. No one believes her, of course, and the government made sure no evidence escaped from the Alaskan massacre. (Small villages being wiped out by vampires rank high on the FBI’s “must cover up” list). Still, Stella gives public lectures that are well attended by people who want to laugh at a crazy lady.

The plot is pretty basic and unoriginal and the vampires seem to have lost that animalistic nature and ferociousness that made the first one so great.  A small group of uninteresting people join forces to hunt these vampires, specifically their leader, Lillith. We never get any background on her expect for the fact that she is the leader and they follow her every demand. To be the main evil queen bi-otch over an entire species of vampires, I was expecting so much more from her appearance and demeanor. The vampires still have the same creepy look, only they seem more human in the sequel. This movie is a big eye roller for me.  The script is not too engaging, however the gore factor is at a maximum high, which may be enough to keep the splatter fans happy. The vampire leader, Lillith, slowly pulls a tooth out so she can kiss/drink the blood of a victim and another scene shows a wannabe vampire tearing out a human throat in graphic detail.  These are a couple of the gory highlights from the film. But I think where the film really fails is with the handling of the characters. Aside from Stella, no one’s character is developed much at all. It’s very frustrating that by far the most interesting of the group, Dane, is hardly touched upon.  So disappointing.

Basically, this is a below average horror/action flick. If I had gone to see it in the cinema I would have been extremely disappointed.  I could easily see this morph into a two-part episode on any of the current vampire-themed TV shows.  I don’t know what kind of budget Ketai had to work with, but the sets look like a cheesy Halloween haunted house, the gore effects are almost embarrassingly unconvincing, and the film uses the wateriest, fake looking blood I’ve ever seen.  Gallons of it!  But to be consistent, it matches the rest of the movie I suppose; thin, weak, and a poor substitute for the original.

About SIster Roboto (21 Articles)
I am a graphic designer, mother, and lover of all things scary. I enjoy a delicious beer and the company of my lunatic friends in my downtime. I am a horror fanatic at heart and if something can give me that intense feeling of fear, shock, or disgust... I'd like to share it with the world.

1 Comment on 30 Days of Night 2: Dark Days (2010) Movie Review

  1. Geek Soul Brother // April 11, 2012 at 1:20 am // Reply

    Wow, you must have watched this almost the same day I did (even though it’s been in my queue for too long). I’m with you, it wasn’t as good as the first. I didn’t review it yet, but I would only give it 2.5 or 2.75 out of five. It wasn’t horrible, it was just missing a lot. Probably the budget.

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