30 Days of Night (2007)


30 Days of Night – horror movie review

30 Days of Night is a 2007 horror film starring Josh Hartnett and the current Queen of Scream Melissa George. Since leaving Summer Bay the poor girl has faced almost continual mortal peril! She’s been in a lot of horror films basically – but she does do a cracking US accent and has lips to rival ScarJo.

So anyway, 30 Days of Night is directed by David Slade (Hard Candy, Hannibal) and based on a graphic novel by Steven Niles. It tells the story of a small, isolated Alaskan town that is pounced upon by a group of ancient and blood-thirsty vampires. Hartnett and George star as two police officers determined to lead their friends and neighbours to safety.

30days

Barrow in Alaska – where the movie is set – is so far north that during winter the sun doesn’t rise for a month. As well as being a bit miserable, this makes for rather a sticky situation when the vampires turn up. I mean, sunlight is generally looked upon favourably when dealing with the undead – especially when you live on the edge of the earth with no means of escape. The premise of 30 Days of Night is pretty simple – survive the month and beat the vampires – but it is delivered well.

It’s a similar plot to Swedish film Frostbiten (2006vamp.) but whilst that was more of a comical movie, 30 Days of Night was pleasantly surprising in its darkness and brutality.

After all, vampires are often viewed on screen as sexy, civilised or even mildly glittery. In 30 Days of Night they are dangerous predators – powerful, ruthless and not afraid to use their nails. They are human-ish of course, in the way they walk on two legs and have eyes, ears and a nose. But that’s where the similarities end.

I enjoyed 30 Days of Night a lot. I first saw it in the cinema but I’ve watched it since on DVD and still think it’s one of the better vampire flicks I’ve seen. It does have some flaws of course – and something of absolute fucking hilarity that I cannot wait to share with you, but generally I thought it was a pretty good film

It’s clear that it was based on a graphic novel – the atmosphere and use of colour, the dramatic, sinister score written by Brian Reitzell and the ever-so-slightly arty bits – it just has that graphic novel feeling – apologies, I’m not very good at ‘technical talk’ sometimes. But I know what I mean. Hopefully you do too.

vamps

The film is gory, with plenty of blood and death to rejoice in. Yay! The vampires are chilling to look at –  dark eyes, white skin – and they make screechy animal noises – shiver. They are notably cruel as well – imagine how a cat plays with a mouse before killing it and you’ll know what I mean. I enjoyed it for the pure horror that it was, rather than a lot of the vampire stuff we’re used to where it’s all “let’s be friends” and “ahhh you guys!”

30days

It was probably a tad too long at 113 minutes. I know, I know, I always say it but 100 minutes would have been just fine and dandy. Unfortunately I did also feel that the gripping ’30 Days of Night’ concept was rather redundant – as really, all events could have happened in a couple of days – nothing really made me think – or believe – that the film was set over a few weeks. I don’t think Josh Hartnett even grew much of a beard. Which was devastating.

My only other minor moan is a slight lack of personality. I know it’s not really that sort of film but I do like good characters and maybe a funny line or two or something a bit quirky. But 30 Days of Night is played very straight and for that reason the characters and relationships aren’t that memorable. I also didn’t love the ending but that’s a personal thing. But still, it doesn’t really matter –  it was still a better-than-average horror film. Now – for the little something of absolute fucking hilarity:

Marlow, the leader of the vampires (Danny Huston) looks EXACTLY like Neil Tennant from the Pet Shops Boys. My dad first pointed it out, after we’d watched it in the cinema but I’ve since seen it a few times on the terrifying IMDB message boards as well, but it never fails to crack me up.

I mean, he was supposed to be terrifying. But everything, EVERYTHING about him – even his long black coat – screamed “I’m Neil Tennant from the Pet Shop Boys” – talk about disconcerting! And hilarious.

Go West!

Go West!

I vant to suck your bloood

I vant to suck your blood

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About emmakwall

Films, books, soundtracks, good humour
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135 Responses to 30 Days of Night (2007)

  1. Jordan Dodd says:

    Great review. I remember watching this years ago and I remember loving the design of the creatures, they looked crazy! Makes me wanna watch it again after reading this! Good stuff Em! 🙂

    • emmakwall says:

      Yay! Me too! (wanna watch it again I mean)

      Thanks Jordan means a lot!!! 🙂 🙂

      • Jordan Dodd says:

        No worries Em! :):P
        what i remember vividly from this movie also is a sweet-ass decapitation. That was savage! I usually don’t like gore, it bores me, but I remember liking it in this movie. Though these sorta movies are more action movies to me than horror movies. Horror to me is The Babadook, It Follows… not many recent examples. supernatural stuff and gore/torture stuff just ain’t horror in my book

        • emmakwall says:

          I know what you mean! I must admit I do love gory movies but generally a lot of them are ‘one-time watches’ just for fun. Watching low-rent torture porn on Netflix is my idea of easy watching! Lol.

          Obviously some ‘gory’ movies are pretty damn fine though – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the original 1974 film, that is one of my all time favourite horrors, I love it.

          But I still totally agree with you, The Babadook, It Follows (though I have yet to watch it) are the REAL deal, the films that make you think, scare you, stay with you for hours…days…even weeks!

          Have you see The Orphanage, the Spanish movie? I thought that was a really chilling, psychological horror. I could never watch it by myself!!!!

          • Jordan Dodd says:

            No but I like the sound of a Spanish thriller!! I’ll have to see if I can stream it from somewhere.

            And The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is bloody great 😀

            • vinnieh says:

              I would definitely recommend The Orphanage, well worth the watch.

            • emmakwall says:

              Thanks Vinnie 🙂

            • vinnieh says:

              Always happy to provide my service.

            • emmakwall says:

              It was the first (and last, I suppose) film that ever made me cry with fear! I kid you not. I felt my eyes kind of well up, it had never happened before! Before I knew it I was crying with fear.

              Different things scare different people so I hope I haven’t built it up too much (crying with fear!!!!!) but it’s still a great Spanish thriller yes 🙂

              It is brilliant isn’t it!!! And to be fair it’s not that gory anyway, hardly at all by today’s standards. It’s the “vibe” that I’m digging!

              Daddy-o! (just used ‘digging’ randomly and thought now I must use the word Daddy-o too lol)

            • Jordan Dodd says:

              Hehehehe. I’ll dfefinetely have to hunt down that film and write about it, it sounds at least like my sorta thing. Plus Vinnie recommends it too so I think I’ll like it.

              And you’re right, this movie actually isn’t gory at all compared to some of the crap released today. Bar the decaptitation, it is more the atmosphere, or the vibe that you talk about that makes the movie enjoyable

  2. I think this is in my top 5 best vampire movies. Dark, gritty, and no sparkling! Spot on review Ms Ems☺️

  3. newguy87 says:

    Easily my favourite Vampire film, i love how it doesn’t hold back and yet another great cameo performance from the always creepy Ben Foster

  4. All i remember about this is them hiding in an attic for what seemed like 2 years. It bored the shit out of me. Maybe if Alf Stewart had come along from Summer Bay it might have injected some spice.

    Great review my little Bear Jew!

  5. I loved this film, thought it was pretty good. Loved the comic even more though. Love Melissa George as well. She was in a great show called Hunted if you ever get a chance to see it. Great job Ems!!

    • emmakwall says:

      Yeah it’s very good! I’ve never read any of the comics I doubt I will to be honest but when I bought the DVD I got some cool postcards included with the artwork on!

      I love her too, she’s lovely! I’ll look up Hunted, thanks Geoff 🙂 🙂 🙂

  6. theipc says:

    Clam!!

    This movie is pretty awesome – the sequel is pretty shit! Don’t watch it!!

    Great post!

    Love Pen!!

    O _ o o _ O

    • emmakwall says:

      Thanks Pen!!!! O _ o o _ O

      I never fancied the sequel, just the front of the DVD is enough to know it’s not for me haha. It looks like 30 Days of Night crossed with Blade.

      ❤ ❤ ❤

      Love Clam!

      • theipc says:

        My Dear Clam,

        The sequel was horseshit! Feel free to edit that if you want : )

        Love Pen!!

        ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

        • emmakwall says:

          Pigshit?!!! Horseshit is fine 🙂

          ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

          Yeah it looked a bit odd! Like completely off track from the original film ha ha.

          Dear Pen! Love clam : )

          • theipc says:

            Pigshit???? Are we talking about Beyond Thunderdome now??????????????????

            ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

            It sucked ass!!!

            Love Pen!!!!

            • emmakwall says:

              Lol I have never seen that!!!! Maybe sloppy pigshit?!!! EEEEEW!

              ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

              Love Clam!!!!!

            • theipc says:

              Say whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat??????

              Oh you must!

              ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

              Love Pen!!!

            • emmakwall says:

              Hahahaha! SAY WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!

              I’ve just looked it up, it’s a Mad Max movie?!!! ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

            • theipc says:

              It is!!!! You need to get caught up because Fury Road comes out soon!!!!!

              Love Pen!!!!

              O _ o ❤ ❤ ❤ o _ O

            • emmakwall says:

              Fury Road!!! Awesome title!!!!!

              O _ o o _ O ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

              Love Clam!!!

            • theipc says:

              And it looks to be an awesome movie!!!

              O _ o ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ o _ O

              Love Pen!!

            • emmakwall says:

              I trust you 100% Pen!!! “what a lovely day” lol

              Nicholas Hoult is in it!!!!

              ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

              Love Clam!!!!!

            • theipc says:

              I can’t even wait!! I even took the day off!!!

              Love Pen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

              ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

            • emmakwall says:

              I LOVE that!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t think I’ve ever taken a day off work for a movie! I MUST DO THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

              ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

            • theipc says:

              It’s the best!!!! Friday matinee with no one else in the theater!!! It’s HEAVEN!!!!

              ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

              Love Pen!!!

            • emmakwall says:

              It sounds heavenly!!!!! I hate annoying people in the cinema, really grinds my gears! Is Mrs IPC going too? 😀

              ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

              Love Clam!!!!!

            • theipc says:

              Nope – this isn’t her kind of movie – so I get the theater ALL to myself!!

              #noarmrests

              Love Pen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

              xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

            • emmakwall says:

              Haha!! That’s so true!!! “who gets the armrest?” I mean, you NEED at least one. So if someone has one, you take the other. What if the other is gone too?!!!!!!

              #elbows
              #pens

              Love Clam! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

            • theipc says:

              I’m a tall person so I require a lot of leg room and those pesky armrests get in my way!!

              #ilean
              #pensforever
              #loveclam

              Love Pen!!!

              xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

            • vinnieh says:

              I know that feeling Eric, sometimes being tall has its advantages, but at other times it can be a hindrance.

            • emmakwall says:

              At least you can reach stuff on the top shelf in Tesco!

            • vinnieh says:

              That is one definite advantage.

  7. vinnieh says:

    Haven’t seen this in ages but loved your review Emma. Gosh, Melissa George has definitely been through the ringer of emotions hasn’t she?

  8. renlauoutil says:

    Hey, it’s not all scream with Melissa George, she’s a fine, muted, but screwy temptress in season one of HBO’s In Treatment, trying to get into Gabriel Byrne’s pants. It’s a good series (sadly largely forgotten) with George’s lovely lips working overtime.

    I enjoy your blog. Not always my kind of films. But that’s part of the appeal.

    • emmakwall says:

      I tell you what, I don’t care how old he is, I wouldn’t mind getting in Gabriel Byrne’s pants too! Haha. She does have lovely lips, I do really like her. I’ve not seen In Treatment but I’ve heard it’s good!

      Thanks so much, that’s really kind of you! I know what you mean, I like reading about stuff I wouldn’t necessary watch too!

      Thanks 🙂

  9. I completely agree! This version of vampire is the best. The almost feral, unrelenting, emotionless kind. When the main vampire says, “God? No God“ (or something to that effect) it sent chills down my spine. Too bad you thought he looked like someone else! That would be disconcerting.

    Great review of a really good movie!

    • emmakwall says:

      Yes I remember that line EXACTLY!!!!! I can hear it in my head 🙂 they had no empathy at all did they.

      Ooh I like that word – ‘feral’ – I should have used it!!!

      Thanks so much 🙂 oh my god the Neil Tennant thing is SO disconcerting but so funny!!!!!

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