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Awesome: 9.59%
Worth A Look: 26.03%
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Pretty Crappy: 21.92%

5 reviews, 43 user ratings

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30 Days of Night
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by Peter Sobczynski

"To Quote Another Notable Vampire--"Blah!"
1 stars

The ads for the new vampire film “30 Days of Night” claim that it is based on the “groundbreaking” graphic novel of the same name. Having never read this particular graphic novel myself, I cannot offer a first-hand assessment of that particular claim but based on a viewing of the film version, I can surmise that either the story has been greatly altered in its journey to the big screen or the producers have the same tenuous grasp on the meaning of the word “groundbreaking” that Wes Anderson has on the word “stickler.” This is a drag from start to finish–a bloody bore that squanders a promising premise and utilizes lots of CGI blood and rapid-fire visual glitz in a doomed effort to cover up the fact that there is nothing going on here that even the least committed consumer of vampire-related entertainment hasn’t seen countless times before.

The film takes place in Barrow, Alaska, the northernmost town in the United States and a place that experiences a yearly natural phenomenon in which there is no daylight for 30 straight days. Most of the citizens of the town leave for the duration but a handful of die-hards choose to stay and stick it out–if they have any sense of irony, they no doubt pass the time with daily screenings of “Insomnia.” This year, however, while the townspeople are leaving, one stranger (Ben Foster) arrives and begins causing trouble–he kills a bunch of guard dogs, sabotages the local power plant and trashes the town’s lone helicopter.

It turns out that he is actually the human advance man for a group of vampires, led by the icky Marlow (Danny Huston), who have decided to turn the town into a month-long round-the-clock smorgasbord. Their initial attack decimates most of the remaining populace and the few remaining survivors–including sheriff Eben Oleson (Josh Hartnett), his ex-wife, Stella (Melissa George), his younger brother, Jake (Mark Rendall), the local loner (Mark Boone Jr) and the local bit of fun (Amber Sainsbury)–are forced to hole up and wait out the month while dealing with dwindling supplies, group tensions and the increasingly frenzied behavior of the vampires, who inexplicably stick around even though you would think that they might have better luck getting their snack on someplace else instead of waiting for the few remaining morsels to emerge.

In other words, this “groundbreaking” work is little more than your typically boneheaded siege drama in which people constantly find reasons to wander off on their own so that they can be attacked instead of following the dictates of logic by simply staying put in one location (such as the local grocery store, a place that the vampires don’t even seem to know about).Why would people hell-bent on survival do such things? Easy–each one of the characters clearly realizes that he or she is in a crappy horror film and every one of them chooses to obey the formulas that require them to act like idiots in order to keep the story moving along. Just once, I’d like to see a movie along these lines in which the screenplay allows the characters to act in a plausible and intelligent manner and then figures out a way to put them in jeopardy despite their best efforts. Of course, that would require some cunning and intelligence and it is much easier to have the characters do idiotic things (such as leave the grocery store even though it has plenty of food and has never been under attack) that cause them to split up so that they can be reduced to a series of crimson-tinged 1's and 0's by the vampires.

Although I give credit to director David Slade (whose previous film was the overrated but far-more-interesting “Hard Candy”) for sticking to his guns and resisting the urge to turn this into another one of those bloodless PG-13 horror films that seem to crop up every few weeks in order to separate under-17's from their allowances, “30 Days of Night” is so otherwise useless that you wonder why he bothered in the first place. Horror buffs are going to find it incredibly derivative and there is nothing else to it that could possibly attract anyone who doesn’t already have a predilection for the genre in the first. In fact, I can think of only three possible reasons why any sane person would want to sit through this film. You are such a hard-core vampire fanatic that you will literally sit through anything that involves them on the theory that even a bad vampire movie will heighten your appreciation for the rare good ones that occasionally emerge. You have been waiting your entire life to see a film in which Danny Huston runs around speaking some form of vampiric Esperanto while sporting the same teeth as the Alien and you aren’t going to pass this opportunity up. You have a sudden and inexplicable desire to see a film in which every aspect is so utterly lifeless that when the various characters are decimated one by one, they actually seem livelier post-mortem than they did when they were alive.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=16768&reviewer=389
originally posted: 10/19/07 00:28:11
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User Comments

9/21/17 morris campbell tense & grisly story is thin though 4 stars
5/08/14 Freddy Not bad but script inanities ruin the flow 3 stars
1/20/13 dmasz91 very good for a horror film, i'd watch it again. 5 stars
1/11/12 Matthew Thompson Dalldorf How do Brian Nelson and Dave Slade keep getting work? 2 stars
10/12/11 t. true Worst vampire movie ever made, barring none. Run away screaming. 1 stars
11/30/10 mr.mike Wasn't that good. 3 stars
10/12/10 Josie Cotton is a goddess By the director of 'Hard Candy,' so it obviously could have been worse. 2 stars
6/17/10 art 30 days of night makes you forget what the hell's it's name o TWILIGHT! 4 stars
9/14/09 MP Bartley Some tension and the central concept is good, but falls apart by the end. 3 stars
1/05/09 Peter North excellent horror movie....no boner salute..... 5 stars
12/01/08 mark total crap. Boring. If you like Scary, it's not scary enough, gruesome, not gruesome enou 1 stars
10/20/08 Monster A Go-Go Very interesting-great concept-disappointing ending, but it had bite! Good job. 4 stars
7/23/08 chris f boring wish i hadnt wasted my time watching this crap 1 stars
4/17/08 Pete Chesworth very good film but pity about the naff ending though where did they go to 4 stars
3/03/08 JLH Not bad. 3 stars
3/01/08 Larry M. Don't think and you will enjoy. 2 stars
2/29/08 othree Great scencey, blood & snow, all the trappings, suck finished off movie, too bad. 2 stars
2/18/08 Servo Very dissapointing, some nice gore and the scene where the town gets invaded and thats it. 2 stars
2/07/08 Mark Dumb vampires...even DUMBER townsfolk! 2 stars
12/12/07 William Goss Derivative, although w/ no shortage of gore, a sleeker sheen than most. Vampire lines reek. 4 stars
12/05/07 Bnorm I didnt like it;decent enough action though. The Vampires were stupid lookin 2 stars
12/05/07 eeli fantastic vampire carnage, one of the best horror movies ever 5 stars
11/28/07 Vagile Waste of a fantastic concept 1 stars
11/13/07 Curtis M NO Substance, NOT scary... CRAP effects. Two hours that I would really like back..... 1 stars
10/28/07 Geoff Chapman Didn't live up to its substantial potential. Wasn't scary 3 stars
10/24/07 matthew decent, but thoroughly predictable 4 stars
10/24/07 jazz eternal Because they know what I say is true and you're a no-taste having underwear stain. 1 stars
10/23/07 jazz returns It's no question that he's a faggot...with bad taste in film. 1 stars
10/23/07 Ivana Mann Lukewarm movie-not bad, not good. At least cool vampire make-up effects. 3 stars
10/23/07 jazz again Yeah, and you stick to your little lame ass faggot vampire movies that aren't scary, Twat. 1 stars
10/23/07 derek you're right ludicous, my bad. 5 stars
10/22/07 derek again hey jazz, stick with steel magnolias you pussy. 5 stars
10/21/07 AJ Muller It's really good, but you gotta call out Carpenter? Fuck you, Gonsalves. Seriously. 4 stars
10/21/07 Anthony G Enough with the shaky cam you no-talent hack! 2 stars
10/21/07 Notsocynical As I recall the grocery store WAS attacked. Did you even watch the movie? 3 stars
10/21/07 DonnyM I hated it. Bad Director Bad Script. Josh Harnet as the action hero. Har har. 2 stars
10/21/07 jazz Lame movie. If you saw it and liked it, you're an idiot. 1 stars
10/19/07 derek dettloff great movie. if you saw it and didn't like it, you're crazy. 5 stars
10/19/07 mike I went in excited and left disappointed. the ending was super dumb. honestly 0.5 out of 10 1 stars
10/19/07 Ole Man Bourbon 2 Hours of Shite 2 stars
10/19/07 IAMVPIRE HELL OF A RIDE!!!! 5 stars
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  19-Oct-2007 (R)
  DVD: 19-Feb-2008



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