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Movie Talk: ‘30 Days of Night’ DVD Review


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Written by: Wayne C. Rogers

Realizing that people have different opinions about what they read and watch, and that not all will agree with each other on what’s good and what isn’t, I was still somewhat surprised by how many viewers didn’t find the horror movie, 30 Days of Night, to be as great as I did.  I’m usually pretty hard on horror flicks and don’t expect a lot when I go to see one, but 30 Days of Night won me over in a way that left me stunned at the end of the movie and wanting to immediately see it again.

Directed by David Slade, the story takes place in Barrow, Alaska (a real town), which is in the northern part of the state and once a year experiences thirty days of night.  Most of the town’s people head south for the entire month, but there are enough humans left to entice a group of roving vampires to spend some quality vacation time there.  It all begins when a stranger arrives (played wonderfully by Ben Foster, check him out in his first film—Hostage with Bruce Willis) during the last day of light and cuts the telephone lines and kills the sled dogs so the remaining town’s people will be snowed in and unable to escape the wrath of his master, Marlow.  The vampires then waste little time in attacking the town and killing every human being they can get their hands and teeth on.  It’s the town’s sheriff (played by Josh Hartnett) and his estranged wife (played by Melissa George) who manage to gather the surviving citizens and to find a place where they can hide from their hungry predators.  The problem, of course, is finding a way to stay alive until the sun once again appears after thirty long days of night.  That’s going to be the challenge and few are going to make it.

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I thoroughly loved this movie and have watched it about twelve times, enjoying every single viewing.  Though I’m not a big fan of Josh Hartnett, I bought him as the sheriff and found his character to be totally believable.  I also felt that all of the other actors did an excellent job as well, especially Danny Huston, who played Marlow, the lead vampire.  He was utterly terrifying.  I thought the vampires were played true to life in that they were portrayed as savage, violent predators, killing everything within their grasp so they can feed on the blood.  They were unbelievably fast and didn’t hesitate in taking someone’s head off, separating it from the body with one powerful sweep of their clawed hands.

The desolation of Barrow was captured perfectly by the set designer and director of photography as the camera took in from above what was happening below as dozens and dozens of people were massacred in different parts of the town by the marauding vampires.  This movie had me literally sitting on the edge of my seat and jumping in all the right places.  In many ways I thought this was the best horror flick of 2007, running just ahead of the film, 1408, with John Cusack.

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With regards to the DVD, it has since been released as a two-disc set, It doesn’t, however, have much more on it than the single disc.  Still, what’s there is a great behind-the-scenes documentary on the making of the film, containing interviews with the cast members and crew, plus a look at the real Barrow, Alaska.

The strange thing is that when the DVD came out, my roommate’s daughter was getting ready to fly to Alaska with some friends, and I kept trying to get her to watch the movie before she left.  She told me NO! in a rather loud way, not wanting to have nightmares the whole time she was there, freezing in below-zero temperatures.  I would’ve gone to Aruba, myself!   Anyway, this film certainly has a special place in my DVD collection of horror films.  Highly recommended!!!

Rating: 5/5

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About The Overseer (1669 Articles)
Author of Say No to Drugs, writer for Blumhouse, Dread Central, Horror Novel Reviews and Addicted to Horror Movies.

8 Comments on Movie Talk: ‘30 Days of Night’ DVD Review

  1. Lisa Cleveland // January 9, 2014 at 2:28 am // Reply

    Great review! I view this film about the same as you, and I’m also not a big Josh Hartnett fan, although he can definitely act. Everyone was convincing in this movie, and I’ve seen it at least 10 times, and its still good. Plus, you got to love some scary ass Vampires!

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  2. yes great review…and yep I’ve seen this movie a good few times myself. I loved the whole concept and agree that all the actors did a great job. Even Ben Foster had a small part, which was a total bonus for me. I have grown a little tired of vampire movies, but this film did it from such an interesting angle and executed it so well, I couldnt help but love it

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  3. Lisa Cleveland // January 9, 2014 at 3:11 am // Reply

    I’m not, nor will ever be tired of vampire movies. Mostly because I don’t watch the crap that everybody else considers vampire movies. I want scary, blood thirsty, gonna drink your blood until you die horribly, vampires. If I don’t walk away from a movie with a stunned expression on my face and just a wee bit of fear for where the nights dreams may take me, then I feel that the movie has failed miserably at it’s job.

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  4. I LOVE THIS MOVIE! Saw it in the theater years ago. Bought the DVD when it came out. Gotta get it on Blu-Ray! Wish they could have rounded up the stellar cast for more. The one sequel is garbage.

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  5. Excellent review, Wayne! I agree completely.

    Ironically, I almost didn’t see 30 ays of Night. At the time this film was released, I had no knowledge of the graphic novel it was based on and I was avoiding vampire flicks because the last eight or so I had seen were all stores centered around vampires of the romantic, emotionally tortured variety. I was tired of it and didnt find vampires scary anymore. So it took some convincing to get me to see this and it actually came down to a friend’s choice on his birthday to make it happen (I took him to the movies as part of his gift that year).

    Let me tell you, right about the time we were treated to the aerial tracking shot that allowed the audience to see the bodies and blood strewn across the snow throughout the town, I knew this was unlike any vampire movie I had ever seen. I loved it. I loved everything about it. Forget that doomed love, pining for a connection crap..these bad boys were animals driven to feed pure and simple. There was nothing charming or likable about them and they were all the more terrifying for it.

    30 Days of Night only worked for me as a horror film, it restored my interest in vampires.

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  6. I stumbled upon the graphic novel ages ago and I thought – “Wow, this would make a kickass movie!” – and it sure did. I really enjoyed the flick and own it and have rewatched it several times.

    Which is more than I can say about the movie version of COWBOYS AND ALIENS – which was a GREAT ready-for-screenplay graphic novel that was TOTALLY botched-up by the time it reached the screen.

    Great review, Wayne.

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  7. Wayne C. Rogers // January 9, 2014 at 2:20 pm // Reply

    I agree totally, DS. 30 Days of Night is indeed a masterpiece of horror cinema!

    Steve, I saw Cowboys and Aliens at the theater and left shaking my head. This seemed like to entirely different movies, and each one of them would have been good if the studios hadn’t combined them into one. I also didn’t like Harrison Ford’s character and the complete change in personality he made by the end of the film. He should have remained a villian. Last, it was difficult seeing James Bond play an American cowboy. All that money wasted!

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  8. I loved this film, it was the anti-sparkling vampire movie that countered the Twilight films. When my 12 year old neice started asking me about vampire flicks (due to Twilight) I gave her this dvd and said, here watch this. In the weeks to follow, the whole ‘goth’ make-up trend dissappeared from my neices face!

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