Dir. David Slade
Reviewer. Dan Cook
A vampire picture with some serious bite, David Slade’s 30 DAYS OF NIGHT is a fabulously gruesome adaptation of Steve Nile’s pulpy 2002 graphic novel series of the same name. Starring Josh Harnett, Melissa George and Danny Huston, 30 DAYS OF NIGHT successfully builds on the auteurist promise of the directors previous film, the leg crossing 2005 psycho-thriller HARD CANDY and allows him to expand his visual prowess to highly memorable and often splattery effect. Set on the Northernmost tip of the United States, 30 DAYS OF NIGHT tells the story of a small group of people who find themselves hunted by a pack of vicious vampires when the month-long polar darkness falls on their remote Alaskan town.
Visually the film is extremely striking, with the ever-falling snow sharply contrasting with the puddles of deep scarlet gore viciously torn from unlucky throats while the isolating nature of the middle-of-nowhere town lends 30 DAYS OF NIGHT a visceral feeling of utter hopelessness, reminiscent of the zombie films of George A. Romero or John Carpenter’s similarly Wintry masterpiece THE THING. Performance wise, those playing the humans trapped in the nightmare aren’t anything that special. However, the actors playing the ravenous bloodsuckers are suitably terrifying, in particular Danny Huston whose pasty, black eyed, long nailed vampire leader stands out as one of the more unforgiving and unforgettable movie monsters of 2000’s horror cinema.
By no means a genre classic but a stylish and enjoyably nasty one nonetheless, 30 DAYS OF NIGHT takes a sizeable chunk out of cliches of the traditional vampire film while imbuing it with enough fresh blood to keep things interesting and intense.