Fister News!

30 Days of Night (2007) Movie Review

Article by SisterRoboto of

Directed By: David Slade

Hard Candy director David Slade took the helm for this adaptation of Steve Niles’ terrifying comic-book series of the same name. In Barrow, AK, one night can last an eternity. One month every year, this town is plunged into darkness for 30 days due to its location far north of the Arctic Circle. While extended periods of darkness are something that the locals have become accustomed to, this year something sinister is about to emerge from the long and unforgiving night.

I have recently had the pleasure of watching David Slade’s, 30 Days of Night and the displeasure of watching it’s not-so-popular sequel, 30 Days of Night 2: Dark Days, directed by a different dude entirely. The original 30 Days of Night is the kind of gruesome survival guide you pray you NEVER have to follow: how to stop vampires killing you during the darkest 30 days of Alaskan winter!  I think this movie reinvents the vampire to the most terrifying level I’ve ever seen in a film and I can watch this one repeatedly; always seeing new effects and details each time.  Although I’ve never read this comic, reviews suggest that the basic premise has survived the trip to the big screen from print. As far as movie gimmick’s go, it’s a good one. As the sun sinks toward the Alaskan horizon for the last time, most of the tiny town’s 500 or so residents leave, preferring to venture south rather than endure the darkness. Some however, always choose to remain and the small town’s sheriff Eben Oleson marks the beginning of their 30 days of dark by adjusting their population sign to reflect its 152 remaining.

Meanwhile, the vampires are already plotting from just outside the town. Someone has started to vandalize areas of the little village’s infrastructure, satellite phones are stolen and burned, the town’s helicopter is mysteriously damaged, and to top it off… the sun is now gone.  The vampires come on the town suddenly and viciously. The power goes out, the phones go down, and the Internet is gone. Of course the nearest town is 80 miles away and they find themselves with no chance of defense.  Each vampire’s appearance is very disturbing. They have coal black eyes, sharp teeth, pale skin, and the screaming noise they make to communicate with one another will run chills up your spine.  The creativity put into these characters really pays off with the ability to scare the hell out of you. This isn’t a siege movie where the brave sheriff holds up in the police station with a group of survivors and defends them against the evil creatures. Instead, with the disappearance of light, the handful of residents left in the dark become prey, helpless and scared whose only hope is a quick and painless death.

Did I mention this movie was very gory? Heads are brutally severed in extreme close-ups, blood drips through the snow leaving stains of death everywhere the camera goes.  The attack scenes are extremely bloody, violent, and brutal as humans run out into the street trying to fight back, with no luck. One of my favorite scenes of the movie is shot using an aerial view of the small town. All you see against the white snow is bloodstains and bodies while the vampires are darting quickly back and forth like animals in a feeding frenzy attacking anything in sight! Such a super cool highlight in the film.  After all the civilians are killed in the streets, the vampires move on to crashing through houses and killing everyone else.  The vampires just keep coming, keep killing, and continue to hunt. They are relentless killing machines and Slade does a good job of letting you know that the human characters have no chance at survival. He’s so good at it, that when something does go right for them, you’re actually surprised. Even then, there’s always a horrible incident to counteract any glimmer of hope.

30 Days of Night is intense and gripping… so intense that even though you’re watching a very gory movie, you may not even notice.  I was too caught up in what’s going to happen next. Are the vampires coming? Will they run? Will they hide? Will anyone make it out alive for the love of god?!  If there’s anything wrong with the movie, it’s only that in the final scene when the movie’s supply of heroes is dangerously low, one of them makes a crazy decision that people only seem to make in movies. And perhaps you’ll feel a little indifferent to Josh Hartnett, who’s not the greatest protagonist of all time.  Also, there are many unaccounted for days within this 30 day period that is a serious hole in the plot.

I would definitely recommend this movie!  Most of all though, see 30 Days of Night if you want to be scared.  It’s so rare that a modern horror movie actually delivers that. Most seem to boil down to buckets of gore or cheap, easily spotted Hollywood effects. 30 Days of Night brings the gore, but mixes it with a brutal, vicious, nail biting intensity that grabs you, drags you through the blood stained street, and cuts off your head when you least expect it.  I may even dare to say that if you are not a typical follower of horror movies, this one may make you wet your pants… and not in a good way!

This brings me to the second film.  Drum roll please… and the “Bad Sequel of the Year” award goes to… 30 Days of Night 2: Dark Days!

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.

3 Comments on 30 Days of Night (2007) Movie Review

  1. 30 Days of Awesome! Great review!

  2. I’m not sure when it happened or in exactly which studio they first hi-jacked the vampire genre…and although I respect her writing I kind of give a suspicious glance to Anne Rice. What I do know it that 30 days of night was great. It reminded me that the genre did not have to be dead nor covered in glitter. I did laugh however at the “missing days” as i thought the time slip was a decent idea and you obviously felt differently. I do agree that our main protag character didn’t deliver in a manner that made me feel bad, glad or proud of his choices…but oh well, it was based on a graphic novel. Great review for a great movie…not as good but worth a viewing is Stake Land.

  3. I like your review, and I’m glad you liked film. I’m not sure why so many people dislike this film. It’s an original idea, in an original setting, with some really creepy vampires. what’s not to like? While the plot maybe mediocre I think there are enough great elements to add up to an awesome flick.

    I just reviewed this film myself on my blog. And being a fresh film critic I’m always looking for more feedback. And you are a good reviewer. ;)If you get the chance check it out.

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. 30 Days of Night (2007) Movie Review « OGR

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: