Josh Hartnett top lines the latest horror movie from Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert’s Ghost House Pictures and it’s a bloody brilliant vampire flick.
Set in Barrow Alaska, 30 Days of Night (which is based on the groundbreaking graphic novel of the same name) begins as the inhabitants prepare themselves for a month without sunlight. As the residents begin boarding up their houses and preparing for the harsh winter, a mysterious stranger appears in town and sets about cutting them off from the rest of the world. As the sun sets, Sheriff Eben and his estranged Fire Marshall wife Stella (who finds herself stranded in town after an accident causes her to miss the last flight out of Barrow) discover that they are completely isolated for the next four weeks…and that’s when the vampires show up…but how can they be stopped when sunlight never comes?
Ghost House Pictures has done it again. This film looks amazing, has a wonderful cast and is scary, violent and very gory. I can’t believe it’s only a 15 here in the UK.
I was a huge fan of director David Slade’s previous film Hard Candy and he once again proves his talents by making an entirely different kind of genre film. Hard Candy was light, bright and largely suggestive, 30 Days of Night is dark and very visceral.
The cast are all excellent, as is the effects work, set pieces, stunt work, locations and the creepy unusual score.
There are however a few elements which prevent the film from being totally flawless and these are mainly the disappearance and reappearance of characters throughout the run time. Eben’s brother Jake seems to have no trouble wandering around in just a jumper (when everyone else is kitted out in huge parkas, hats and mittens) and outrunning the vamps, and despite addressing a lack of hiding places earlier in the film (not to mention the fact that everyone in town is supposedly dead except our main characters) as the vamps would smell them out, a load of people fill the streets at the climax…where the hell were they hiding for a month?
30 Days of Night is gorgeously shot, well written, directed and acted and is unsettling to watch. This is a cut above the rest of the Halloween season’s big screen offerings.