30 Days of Night David Slade

30 Days of Night David Slade
Vampire flicks seem to enact the ways of the night creatures they depict: they just keep coming like the undead. The bad ones, that is. It’s a point that I have contemplated before but when zombies can continue to be revolutionised, why the hell can’t Dracula’s spawn? Based on the graphic novel by author Steve Niles and illustrator Ben Templesmith, 30 Days of Night is an interesting entry into the vampire fold that comes close to satisfying my needs. The isolated Barrow, Alaska becomes a feeding ground for a group of advanced and sickly looking vampires (led by Danny Huston), who use the vulnerable village folk as dinner when the northernmost town in America falls out of the sun’s reach for 30 days. Sounds like the perfect setting for some bloodshed, and it is. However, they have local sheriff Eben Oleson (the always wooden Josh Hartnett) to deal with, and as we’ve become accustomed to with both Hartnett and vampire movies, that means it’s a one-man battle. Kidding aside, that’s actually what it comes down to and really, it’s the mistake of giving Hartnett macho hero status that prevents 30 Days of Night from becoming the genre’s best film of late. Slade, who impressed with 2005’s ruthless Hard Candy, again uses on-edge tension with fast-paced cameras and contrasting tones to push the film into an enjoyably harsh realm. Hartnett and his on-screen love Melissa George join producer Rob Tapert for a pretty flat commentary. Some interesting titbits are revealed, like how they manipulated colours for the red blood to "pop” and — a first for me — hearing how "CGI breath” was used to make it appear colder. But mostly it’s Hartnett dropping genius vernacular like, "I dunno, killing animals… not good.” Eight featurettes are also included, for a lengthy experience, though entertainment comes aplenty in "Blood, Guts & the Nasty #@$&!” when they demonstrate the beheading of the delighted little girl and use Huston’s bloody, hollowed out throat and mouth for make-out purposes. (Columbia)