Six months after the rage virus was inflicted on the population of Great Britain, the US Army helps to secure a small area of London for the survivors to repopulate and start again. But not everything goes to plan.
This is the story of an isolated Alaskan town that is plunged into darkness for a month each year when the sun sinks below the horizon. As the last rays of light fade, the town is attacked by a bloodthirsty gang of vampires bent on an uninterrupted orgy of destruction. Only the small town's husband-and-wife Sheriff team stand between the survivors and certain destruction. Written by
Sinister, brutal, and unrelentingly violent, 30 Days of Night is the best vampire movie and likely best horror movie to be unleashed upon audiences this year. As fear and dread gradually give way to full-blown terror as the ruthless vampires descend upon the isolated town, the audience is never given a moment to catch their breath. No one is safe and seldom does a sliver of hope surface in the rapidly diminishing chance of survival in this world submersed in darkness. Though the story grounds itself in preconceived vampire mythos, the visuals do not, and a masterpiece of bloody violence emerges, revealing such intensely vicious imagery that fans of the genre (as well as the original graphic novel) will revel in the carnage.
In Barrow, Alaska, the northernmost city in the world, once a year during the winter, the sun disappears for 30 days. Isolated by 80 miles of ice and snow, the town prepares for the lightless month. But a group of blood-starved vampires have made their way into the shadowy environs of Barrow to feast on the town, concerned only with satisfying their feeding frenzy. Quickly killing off the majority of townsfolk, the vampires hunt for a small remaining group of survivors led by Eben Oleson (Josh Hartnett) and his wife Stella (Melissa George), who must wait out the horrifying 30 days of night.
It is refreshing to see a vampire film that doesn't shy away from violence and that doesn't dwell on anything that can be even remotely construed as hokey. A new cinematic creature, 30 Days of Night's antagonists are ultra scary with their deformed appearances and their mercilessly gut-wrenching killing sprees. They speak in their own demonic language and have super human strength and speed, making them a Michael Myers fashioned juggernaut. High-pitched shrieks, blood-soaked visages and razor-sharp fingernails complete a frightening design of this force to be reckoned with.
The character designs are not just notable for the vampires, but also for Eben and Stella, who are brilliantly portrayed by Josh Hartnett and Melissa George. 30 Days of Night is not just about brutal vampire melees, but about sacrifice and protecting loved ones regardless of the dangers. Particularly powerful scenes continually arise as the struggling survivors are forced to cede to unbearable situations to ensure the survival of others. Eben too must make difficult choices to provide leadership for the group and to preserve his fragile relationship with his wife Stella. While it's difficult to judge authentic reactions to a vampire outbreak, the characters all perform honestly and emotionally to any event that could just have easily been grounded deeper in reality.
From beheadings to animal violence, to the slaughter of children, to maniacal misuse of a snow plow, 30 Days of Night douses you in blood and suspense. A few minutes into the film we are immersed in quick, gritty violence and intensity and it never lets up until the climactic conclusion. Never has a film been so white-knuckle thrilling and jaw-dropping shocking from start to finish. As a horror film, 30 Days of Night succeeds admirably due to its fast-paced, stunning visuals, and explosive action. A nonstop thrill ride guaranteed to please fans of the original groundbreaking graphic novel as well as newcomers to the genius of David Slade (Hard Candy) and Steve Niles (writer of the original comics).
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