30 Days Of Night (2007)

Rating: ***
Review Date: 9/20/18
Cast: Josh Hartnett, Melissa George, Danny Huston

Barrow, Alaska is the northernmost town in the United States, and experiences thirty days without sunlight during the height of Winter. Not surprisingly, a lot of people make plans to migrate south for the duration, but a group of vampires led by Danny Huston see it as a prime opportunity to invade and feast on those who remain. They quickly cut off power, communication, and transportation, which leaves the town isolated from the rest of the world and at the vampires' mercy. Sheriff Eben (Josh Hartnett) and a dwindling group of human survivors attempt to fight back, with the hope that they can hold out until the sun returns.

I seem to have a thing for snow-based thrillers like "The Thing" (1982) and "Whiteout" (2009). There's something about the isolation and the cold that intrigues me. The atmosphere in "30 Days Of Night" is superb and the scenery is appropriately cold and desolate. The cool hues are beautiful and the film looks great. The premise is intriguing, and the first half of the film is terrifying as the vampires rip people from their homes and brutally slaughter them. Unfortunately, the second half fizzles as it becomes more of a cat-and-mouse stand-off between the humans and vampires, but I appreciated the bizarre and unexpected downbeat ending. Nearly all of the action belongs to Josh Hartnett, and while his character isn't particularly engaging, he does an adequate job. Eben's estranged wife, Stella (Melissa George) is wonderful and very pretty, although her presence seems overly contrived. She also carries a gun, which is a nice perk, but she only uses it once. While the vampires are obviously smart and well-organized, they're not very interesting and they come across as a bit too feral. Additionally, the more time they spend on camera, the less menacing they become. The visual effects are pretty good for the most part, although digital steam and the lack of steam are a constant distraction. Overall, it's a bloody and fairly enjoyable horror movie for those who like their vampires more on the nasty side.