30 Days of Night (2007)
January 11, 2024 12:13 PM - Subscribe

[TRAILER] The isolated Alaskan town of Barrow 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.

Starring Josh Hartnett, Melissa George, Danny Huston, Ben Foster, Mark Boone Junior, Mark Rendall, Amber Sainsbury, Manu Bennett, Megan Franich, Craig Hall, Chic Littlewood.

Directed by David Slade. Screenplay by Steve Niles, Stuart Beattie, Brian Nelson. Based on the comic book series of the same name by Steve Niles, Ben Templesmith.

51% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Currently streaming in the US on Tubi and Netflix. JustWatch.
posted by DirtyOldTown (13 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This is never as good as I want it to be, as I loved the cominc and I think the premise is brilliant. But my kid asked to see this and on rewatch, I liked it well enough.

Danny Huston is the best part of this movie. His vampire is ancient, simultanteously feral and regal.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:14 PM on January 11 [6 favorites]

I paid money to see this in the theater. Money I cannot get back.

(I agree the premise is great, though.)
posted by Kitteh at 12:17 PM on January 11

This is never as good as I want it to be

But somehow also better than it should be? Having genuinely creepy vampires really elevates what is otherwise a pretty standard plot.
posted by schoolgirl report at 1:06 PM on January 11 [8 favorites]

That was kind of where I landed on rewatch. It never manages to portray the borderline existential horror of a vampire attack that lasts weeks on weeks with no respite. BUT, it does have actually monstruous vampires in an age where they're so played out that would seem impossible.

I hated it the first go 'round, but this time I'm up to like 2.5/3 stars out of five.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:23 PM on January 11 [2 favorites]

In general, I never like the films of David Slade as much as I feel like I will going in (I think his Hannibal episodes are great, though), and this movie is no exception. But I have to admit, I find the comic pretty empty, too. Danny Huston, though! Always a total delight.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:24 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]

I really like this one because vampires had become sooooo romanticized in film and tv. Seeing actually inhuman vicious vampires again was such a damn thrill that I was willing to forgive it a lot. Still am.
posted by miss-lapin at 11:05 PM on January 11 [5 favorites]

I agree with the general consensus here about the overall film, but will say that the movie has an incredibly strong setup and first act, having rewatched it a few months back. The slow ramping up of dread while setting up characters and location is great. It's such a shame that it then loses that strong sense of both as the movie progresses. Ben Foster is also never the wrong choice for dark intensity.

The comics are well worth reading and get into the internal politics of the vampires in interesting ways. I respect that they left that out of the adaptation and kept the vampires mysterious and decidedly monstrous.
posted by slimepuppy at 4:54 AM on January 12 [4 favorites]

Agree with miss-lapin, this one came out at particular moment in Vampire Discourse, and it hit all the harder for that.

A year or so ago, there was a thing going around my social media circles about "what's the scariest vampire movie." I selected this, because I have never been more scared while watching a vampire film than here. I rewatched it after that social media discussion, and indeed I still found it scary.

Probably my favorite bit in the movie is the overhead shot when the vampires arrive and are sweeping through the streets. It's clearly intended to evoke top-down video games of a certain type, and I think it does so well.
posted by cupcakeninja at 5:39 AM on January 12 [2 favorites]

My reaction the one time I watched this film pretty closely matches the general disappointment vibe I am seeing here , but there seems to be a consensus it is slightly better on a rewatch?

I think it was ruined for me because it had such a good premise and just didn't live up to its own setup.
posted by Julnyes at 8:08 AM on January 12 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I was really disappointed by this one. It's been a while since I watched it, but I remember feeling like it should have mattered a lot more that the sun never comes up. I was expecting to see the vampires slowly chipping away at the community, but instead they kill almost everyone in the town right away.
posted by Ragged Richard at 9:00 AM on January 12

IIRC, one of the vampires was taken out by Grandma's grow lights in her basement pot farm. That was pretty original, I thought.
posted by SPrintF at 10:47 AM on January 12 [3 favorites]

Functionally, the story isn't presented that much differently than an all-in-one-night attack and that is the movie's greatest failing.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:02 AM on January 12 [1 favorite]

Well, technically, it is an all-in-one-night attack.

But I take your point and agree.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 3:08 PM on January 12

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