Ken's Review: 30 Days of Night - A Vampire Film Comparison

October 19, 2007

After watching 30 Days of Night I already had my mind set on what I thought of it. Thank goodness I don't write my reviews as soon as the credits roll. Normally I like to take a few days and really think about what I just saw so that my initial reaction and feelings for the film have time to develop. My mind acts as a rolodex quickly spinning through all the movies I have ever seen and comparing those to the most recent I just watched. If I decided to stick with this method for reviewing 30 Days of Night this review would be much different and much more negative. What I decided to do instead is compare 30 Days of Night to other vampire films. Hopefully doing this will be more helpful to the type of people that are dying to see this movie.

30 Days of Night is about a pack of vampires attacking Barrow, Alaska where the sun sets for 30 days of winter. After the initial brutal attack very early on, there is only a small group of townspeople who have managed to hide and survive. Among this group is Eben Oleson (Josh Hartnett) who is the sheriff of Barrow and leader of this group of survivors. The bloodbath ensues as we watch this group go from hiding spot to hiding spot making stupid choice after stupid choice along the way.

Josh Hartnett and his love interest Melissa George cautiously make their way through the darkened city of Barrow, Alaska in 30 Days of Night.30 Days of Night Review

That is basically the whole movie summed up. Sure there are some subplots about love and family, but they seem more like desperate attempts to bring some depth to a beautifully filmed, conceptually solid, semi-interesting monster movie. Let there be no mistake about the fact that this is barely a vampire movie, it is much more of a monster movie. That doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy it, but hopefully it gets you better prepared before going to see it.

Vampires in film have taken a turn from everything they were in the beginning. Like I said previously, they have become leather-clad, sunglass-wearing, rave-dancing monsters instead of smart-talking, women-seducing, shape-shifting, blood-drinking rulers of the night. After Blade (in 1998), vampire movies just haven't been the same. Now don't get me wrong, I have still enjoyed many of the new vampire movies. I loved the Blade trilogy and the two Underworld films, but I miss the classic vampire image that started it all and I find myself longing for a writer and director to undertake a revamping, no pun intended, of the vampire film genre. Take the classic vampire from Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein, mix him with the director and cinematographer of the Underworld series and you got yourself a vampire movie that I want to see!

The leader of the vampires gets ready to make an attack in a scene from 30 Days of Night.30 Days of Night Review

I loved the concept behind 30 Days of Night. Taking vampires to a place that has no sun for 30 days was ingenious. I loved that the vampires had a leader that talked to them and gave them instructions. I absolutely loved what Hartnett did at the end of the movie to save his wife, although it didn't really play out to be as cool and exciting as it potentially could have been. Ultimately this movie had so many parts that started off as potentially being very cool and a thrill to watch, but none of them really delivered.

Compared to other vampire films that have come out in recent years, this is one of the better ones. Although not really delivering on all the great concepts that were presented, it was still fun to watch. If you like the horror and vampire film genre you will probably like 30 Days of Night. I just pray that the tide turns soon for the original type of vampire that started it all.

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Vampires are old fashioned... they don't have anything else to tell us about them...

Marcelo on Oct 19, 2007


i love vamps this movie was sopost to be a good scary film it wasnt almost everone i know hated it they thought it stupid i liked it but thought they could have done a much better job with the careters and ending

meravina on Oct 21, 2007


I have to disagree. It was a good idea but it just didnt do it for me. The ending was fine but the middle was the problem for me. The plot is setup..... People die..... The final battle.... That middle part just didnt do it for me. The kills were really good though. The scares were all typical that hollywood films have done lately.....oooooo its really quiet....then BAM your scared by a loud sound and a brief flash of something. I think the sound has more to do with it. A movie like this that lulls in the middle should be keeping you scared without these cheap tricks. You should be frightened for the characters....I wasn't.

Heckle0 on Oct 21, 2007


Dear Ken: The movie was a poor translation of Mr. Nile's Indie Comic book miniseries. Most people refer to it as a graphic novel. It didn't have to translate poorly . The Movie 300 was also a Indie Comic book adaptation of Mr. Frank Miller's Comic Books. Again, it sells better if the movie studios call it a graphic novel. If The Director of 300,Mr. Zack Snyder was not Busy filming The Watchmen, he probably would have been approached by the Producer of 30 Days of Night. The most important part of the movie left out was The Vampire Hunters Team. They actually killed most of the vampires not the sheriff. Cable TV had 7 prequel episodes that covered the Vampire Hunter Cell in New Orleans. They uncovered The Vampire's Plan to go to Alaska during The 30 Nights of Night. The were being hunted all over the world by These well organized and well armed vampire hunter cells. Their plan was to lay low and plan a counter offensive. However; The Vampire Hunters discovered their plan and sent a search and destroy paramilitary group led by a female. They killed the majority of the vampires with the help of the sheriff. However; they also had some casualties that resulted mistakes made by the sheriff and some of the town's residents. In my own opinion based on 50 years of watching movies and reading Indie Comics; Hollywood and The Major Comic Book Companies namely Marvel and DC do not like strong female leads unless they are in tight fitting or revealing clothes. In conclusion; if you want to see for your self how good the movie could have been, read Mr. Niles Graphic Novel. Sincerely, Ivan,Sr.

Ivan A. Arcaya,Sr. on Oct 23, 2007


Appaulingly bad translation to film: changes made were inexplicable and COMPLETELY unnecessary, and while visually it looked impressive and the concept was great (though not unique - check out the Finnish Film "FrostBiten"..), it's NOT enough. George Lucas tried to milk that cow and looked what happened.. Episode one indeed.. pathetic.

Az on Dec 16, 2007


My wife and I watched this movie for free, daughter bought it. If I would not been in Alaska and seen and lived in the Barrow area, I might of thought it was locality correct. I would like to know where the film was made? I noticed most of the buildings were on stilts. The buildings in Barrow and the rest of the region are built in the maner because of perma frost. I have been in most of the North Slope Bouroughs villages. I didnt reconise this one, besides the snow was not deep enough to be on the slope.

RCRAB on Mar 31, 2008


Me and my family thought this was a good movie besides when i fell asleep on it but i loved it.i like it so much i bought it 2 timer on paper view

jazz on Apr 14, 2008


I enjoyed this movie but it isn't what you'd class as "scary", it was more jumpy and gory than scary. A few friends and I saw this film in the cinema (or if you're American then theater.) Effects were amazing, actors were excellent and the plot wasn't too good. I agree all it basically was the group of people running from one hiding place to another. And the final battle wasn't too thrilling, it was just a couple of punches and blood here and there and then it was the end. The ending was quite disappointing too, the sheriff just wilted away as ash was quite pointless in my opinion, it was sweet how he tried to play the big "hero" to save whatever was left as the group but still too rushed. In was quite interesting to see what happened to the prisoner they had locked away and if all the vampires we saw in the sewers hints a sequel. I would like to see a sequel but it would be very disappointing if it is the same basic plot as the first. 7/10

Kim on May 26, 2008


I just want to reemphasize the argument that comic books are not just made for children. In every Democratic country in Asia such as Japan and in every Democratic Country in Europe such as The U.K. comic books are treated with the same respect as any other book of fiction. In fact; Science Fiction Books, TV Shows and Movies are given the same respect as Non-Science Fiction Books. TV shows such as Torchwood are given more respect then Moonlight which was recently canceled By American TV. Moonlight is a Gothic Vampire Romance TV Series. If the show had been done in The U.K. or Japan ;it would have been done with more respect and would have not been canceled. However; The American Station from the very beginning called the show anemic and derivative. It was a fair show that became a good show in the second half of the past season. The show's new direction would have made it a great show. American Movie and TV Studios have never respected The Gothic Vampire Action or Romance Genre. Please check BBCA for SciFi and Gothic Vampire TV shows and watch Sundance or Fearnet for good Gothic, Horror and SciFi Movies.

Ivan A. Arcaya,Sr. on May 27, 2008

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