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movie review by David Blackwell

113 minutes, rated R
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

STARRING Josh Hartnett (Eben), Melissa George(Stella), Ben Foster, Megan Franich
WRITTEN by Steve Niles, Stuart Beattie, Brian Nelson
based on the comic book by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith
DIRECTED by David Slade

STUDIO: Columbia Pictures/ Ghost House Pictures/ Dark Horse Entertainment
Theatrical RELEASE DATE: 10-19-2007

30 DAYS OF NIGHT is intense. It switches between dread and uneasy quiet several times during the course of the film as survivors of Barrow, Alaska try to survive for 30 days until the sun comes out again. Barrow is the northernmost town of Alaska that experiences 30 days each year without sunshine. It is quiet each year until a group of vampires show up.

First, a stranger wanders into town and starts chaos by killing all the sled dogs and sabotaging the helicopter. Second, he is taken to jail by Sheriff Eben Oleson (Josh Hartnett). The stranger warns there is no escape from the coming evil. Then the cell tower station is destroyed by the vampires and they take out the town's power. One by one, they start to kill of the residents who stay behind in barrow during the 30 days of night. The survivors hide and try to outlast the vampires. The vampires uses various tricks in attempts to get them out into the open like live bait and newly turned vampires.

Meanwhile Eben tries to keep the few survivors in his group alive. the group includes his estranged wife Stella (Melissa George), his kid brother, and others. 30 DAYS OF NIGHT feeds on tension and excellent direction. It's like a John Carpenter film in John's heyday as a director. The tension builds and never lets go. The only letdowns are the climax and a script that could have been better written to include just a little more character development and better dialogue. It is effective to show the steps Eben will take to protect everyone else and the things that happen during the 30 days. I wish the vampires didn't feel like caredboard characters throughout this film. Maybe Ghost House will have an extended cut for DVD. 30 DAYS OF NIGHT is an intense (and yet flawed) vampire film that won't let go.

this movie review is (c)10-20-2007 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com  

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