30 Days of Night David Slade

30 Days of Night David Slade
If hell froze over, it might resemble 30 Days of Night, which is filled with blood soaked killers, endless darkness and the just enough cheesy dialogue to make you wince in pain. Despite its flaws, this film should satisfy your thirst for bloodsuckers, though you may find yourself needing a snack an hour later.

Every winter, in Barrow, Alaska, the sun sets for 30 days. Most of Barrow’s inhabitants travel south, unable to deal with the long night, leaving only the heartiest individuals to maintain the mining town’s infrastructure. This year, as the night takes hold, the undead arrive, terrorising and devouring the isolated townspeople. It’s up to Sheriff Eban Oleson (Josh Hartnett) and his estranged wife Stella (Melissa George) to protect the small band of survivors until the sun returns one month later.

Based on the graphic novel by Steve Niles, 30 Days of Night is a solid vampire movie, providing enough action, blood and death to keep horror fans satisfied throughout the long night of terror. Unfortunately, there are a number of problems that prevent this film from moving beyond the boundaries of its genre, including some groan-worthy dialogue, a romantic sub-plot that is so clichéd it’s distracting and an under-explained story that will leave you scratching your head once the carnage is over.

These are not your "I’m Kate Beckinsale and can wander around in black latex to distract people from noticing my fangs” type of vampires, so the fact that it’s never explained where exactly the creatures have come from, or how they have managed to stay alive and remain hidden for so long, poses some serious and inescapable plot issues for any thinking member of the audience.

Though it’s a visually attractive film, the cinematography alone doesn’t quite warrant an expensive trip to the theatre, and 30 Days of Night should look just as good on DVD. In the meantime, find a re-run of Northern Exposure and imagine that instead of quirky, wisecracking misfits the town is populated by the vampires from The Lost Boys. (Columbia)