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30 Days Of Night. November 21, 2007

Posted by phoenixaeon in 30 Days Of Night.

Well. Hmmm. What to say? I’m not actually sure if I liked this, as it left me with a strange sense of unfinished-ness and nothingness. Hmmm.


So, the film was bleak. In all respects. The setting was bleak and the outlook was bleak. Set in the frozen wastes of Alaska, the town shuts down for 30 days of night. Many of the town’s inhabitants up and move out during this time citing reasons such as “You know I can’t live without sunlight”, leaving the few who can brave out the darkness.

Enter strange blokie who leads the vampires to the town. He is mysterious, as we never know who he is. He is annoying, as he speaks in this horrible voice that reminded me of Adam Sandler doing his stupid kid voice in Little Nicky.

The main characters of the film are the town sheriff and the lone fire officer, who doesn’t quite make it to the airport in time to leave the sun-forsaken town. Oh, and these two are no longer in a relationship (plot device to give a bit of tension. Laura said that in the graphic novel they were still together). These two apprehend strange blokie in the town tavern, and take him back to the police house to put him in his cell, where he starts ranting on about how ‘they’ are coming, and they are coming for him.

‘They’, of course, are the vampires. But not your regular loner vampires. No, these are pack animals, complete with alpha male and female (the alpha male bloke looked like one of the kids presenters on CBeebies!) leaders. Another thing about them, they seemed more zombie-like than vampire-like. The only likeness to vampires they had was their pointy teeth and their aversion to sunlight. They spoke a strange language of what sounded like Russian mixed with various clicks and clacks. I’m not sure this added to the film or not. In the area of vampire creation, the only way not to turn a victim was to decapitate them, and a scratch could turn a victim just as easily as a bite could. Hmmm.

Well, after the introduction, it all goes a bit Stephen King. You know the pretence, a small core of characters trying to find a way to outwit the bad guys. They find somewhere to hole up, but they know they will have to move to get supplies and keep the bad guys guessing as to their whereabouts. Cue bad guys finding a lone member of the community and using her as bait. When it doesn’t work, the vamps, who really enjoy playing with their foods and are very messy eaters, chow down on the girl, leaving an opportunity for the hero to take a quick run to see what is going on. He bumps into another member of the community who has been hiding under buildings, tries to help him, and then discovers that he has been turned. Here is where the hero finds that taking an axe to the neck works wonders. The vamps find the body not long after and are now aware that their next meal now knows how to defend themselves.

Now things start happening. The group move out during a huge blizzard, stop off at the shop to stock up, and end up having to kill a little girl who has been turned. Then they hole up at the police house where strange blokie has now disappeared after the vamps visit earlier during the film. Another group member has been infected and asks to be killed rather than being allowed to live forever (wishful thinking there, as hero cop wields an axe now, and has vampire lumberjack tendencies). This is where the outcast of the town gets his martyrdom. He jumps into a snowplough (or something like that, it has a what looks like a huge chainsaw on its front.) and using that and a shotgun ploughs (no pun intended) through a fair few of these mangy vamps. He bursts into the local hotel, gets out of the plough with a box of dynamite and tells the vamps they ain’t gonna eat him. He drops a flare in the dynamite ‘KABANG’, but guess what? IT doesn’t kill him. But the vamps don’t eat him anyway, preferring instead, to step on his head. If the vamps are so hungry, why?

So a bit of to and fro-ing goes on, a bright idea of using Grandma’s pot growing UV lights dispatches alpha female, and most of the group move to the power plant. A vamp follows a straggler to the plant, infects said straggler after a big fight including some of the other group members, and is killed in a big machine. The hero gets his lumberjack craze back on and hacks the infected blokes head off (why, when he could have just been tipped into vamp eating machine?), then decides he must inject himself with some vamp blood as the only way to save the village. (Hm, after re-reading that, he would not have been able to harvest vamp blood if the body had been tipped into vamp eating machine. Duh! Silly me!)

Meanwhile, top dog vamp (TDV) is worried that after spending time making people believe that vamps are just a bad dream, they are about to be outed as real. They break the oil pipeline that runs through the town, setting the spilled oil on fire.

Newly infected hero (NIH) now goes out to stand against evil vamps, and has a one on one punch up with TDV. NIH kills TDV, and the other vamps just disappear. NIH goes off to watch the sunrise with separated girlfriend; turns to dust and bits of him float away. The end.

Which, to me, was a very non-ending ending. I don’t know, I still can’t work out if I liked it or not. There just seemed to be something missing that would have made it a good film. It might have been the uses of the main characters separation as a way of introducing tension, if the story in the novel was good enough, why change it? It could have been the un-vampire like vampires, and the way they shook their heads when chowing down (if they were actually eating the victims it might be understandable, but as they only have a thirst?). Maybe it was the whole biting thing. Traditional vampires bite not only for food, but also as a way of reproducing. This was completely overlooked when it became apparent that just a scratch could turn a victim, thus turning vampires into simple monsters with none of the gothic sensuality. I suppose it’s another way of highlighting terrorism. Ah well.

Give me traditional vampires any day.



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