Thursday, October 27, 2016

31 Days of Horror: 30 DAYS OF NIGHT (2007)


Welcome horror fans, to Day 27 of the 31 DAYS OF HORROR!  We are back with another film in our lead up to Halloween, and today Sammy will be reviewing David Slade's 2007 vampire film based on the comic book miniseries of the same name, 30 DAYS OF NIGHT.  Enjoy!

The film tells the story of a small Alaskan town that is plunged into darkness for an entire month, and is attacked by a bloodthirsty gang of vampires.

Remember Josh Hartnett...I sure do! He was positioned to be the next big thing, and one day, he just, kind of went away. Obviously I know he was in the Showtime hit Penny Dreadful, but I never got around to watching that show. But I did watch 30 Days Of Night, and I thought it was fun, gory, atmospheric and, yeah, over the top, but I that added to the "charm" of the film.

First of all, the setting, Alaska, already puts the viewer in a cold-ish mood, and the cinematography by Jo Willems, who went on to be the DP for The Hunger Games franchise, is very moody, which adds to the tense atmosphere of the film. The atmosphere actually might be my favourite thing about 30 Days Of Night.

In a similar fashion to Chris Nolan's Insomnia, the film takes place in, as I said already, Alaska, where there are 30 days of complete darkness, which is quite depressing, and David Slade and Jo Willems do a great job with the look of the film, and the tone, which could have been shaky with a less competent filmmaker.

The big, scary scenes are also very well done. Some jump scares get a little formulaic, but overall, I thought they were different. And David Slade is to be thanked for that. His previous film before this was the Ellen Page/Patrick Wilson psychological thriller Hard Candy, which is very, very different. Unfortunately, after this he directed The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. I seems his experience with vampires here, didn't quite help him out with Bella and Edward...

But, speaking of the vampires! Danny Huston is awesome here! What an underrated, underused actor! He can play so many different types of roles, and the role he plays here is theatrical, and psychopathic, and he pulls it off wonderfully!

Unfortunately, where the film falls flats is it's core protagonists. As much as I like Josh Hartnett, Melissa George, Mark Boone Jr., etc., I felt that their characters were underwritten and clich├ęd. And no, before you comment, I have not read the comic book of which this film is based on, so maybe they are very accurate to the source material, but as a moviegoer, I felt like they were one dimensional, which, does bother me in horror movies, and because I adored Huston's performance and loved watching his character, and really liked the way Slade directed the action scenes, I hoped for better characters to make, well, a better film.

Overall, I really do like 30 Days Of Night! I think it is a solid horror movie that holds up! Are the characters formulaic, yeah, but for me, Huston and Slade's solid directing really sells it.

Sammy's Score: 7/10


Be sure to stay tuned throughout the rest of the month! We're posting a new horror review every day all throughout October, both old and new! Check back to see what movie we'll have you covering your eyes from next!

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