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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Vampire > Graphic Novel > 30 Days Of Night (Blu-ray)

30 Days Of Night (Blu-ray)


Picture: B     Sound: B+     Extras: D     Film: D



The bad Horror films continue with one that should have worked, but becomes so bad that you will laugh it off the screen if you can see past its concept that was far better in the book and has already been seen in recent releases that beat this film to the punch.


In the hands of Director David Slade, even with Sam Raimi producing, this film of the Steve Niles (who somehow co-wrote the screenplay) and Ben Temple Smith’s 30 Days Of Night.  The idea, rendered a gimmick here, is that it will be dark for a month since the town is an icebound, near-a-pole-of-the-earth location that will allow vampires to reign without fear of vaporization by the sun.  Timur Bekmambetov’s Russian Watch films (due to be a trilogy soon) try this, but add Fantasy elements with other ideas that take it strictly out of the Vampire realm.  You would think a film that dumped all but the horror could work.


Josh Hartnett plays yet another “innocent unassuming grunt” that is getting very tired as he just happens to be a Sheriff this time (very young for one at that) in a town that happens to be on its way to a bad event.  He is joined by a young lady (Melissa George of The Limey, Dark City and that Alias show) and the terror wills soon being.


Unfortunately for the audience, that terror will be a bad script and very bad digital effects that render the vampires so laughable that you think talking babies might soon show up and start telling jokes or dancing.  The lack of good make-up effects in addition to any such good work negated by the digital plastering (on and off the faces of the army of bloodsuckers) causes endless problems where they look more like they need a bath, shave and haircut to look the part.  Additionally, the digital is so plain that it is hard to tell whether they are zombies or vampires until they show their teeth, but liberties are even taken on that!


The Nosferatu model is used, but in vain (or is that vein) and the result is a laughable mess that only has sadism to resort to when the vampires use victims to pretend they are alone to lure other humans out in the open to help, only to be mangled by the gang.  The underrated actor Ben Foster also surfaces, but is badly used and the windup is a film that wants to be the next Sin City or 300, but looks more like a TV movie with more money than it knows what to do with.  With zero suspense, 30 Days Of Night is everything we have seen before and done with no imagination, energy or ambition, finding no interesting ways to spend 113 minutes.


Read the book, don’t get the movie!



The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image is yet another tired, digitally color-denatured mess that looks more like a dated videogame or cheap video production than a Horror film or graphic novel, the latter of which it seeks to imitate.  Director of Photography Jo Willems in Super 35mm overplays his hand and the overdone digital effects only make things worse.  Though there is some clarity, detail ands depth here you would never find on DVD or lower, it is still monotonous.  The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix is mixed, with more gimmickry than good, with an inconsistent soundfield that shows off too much, trying to distract from how bad the script is and that is the best this disc can offer.


Extras include eight tired behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film, an audio commentary by Hartnett, Miss George and Producer Rob Tapert and the Blu-ray exclusive comparison of the film to the book.  If you reads the book, you realize how watered down this version is.  Too bad for fans of the book and vampire horror in general, but if you want to see this kind of story done better on film, try the 2006 Swedish-produced Frostbitten, which you can read more about at this link:




Though it has its own problems, it works much better than this wreck!



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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