Tuesday, March 25, 2008

30 Days of Night


--Reviewed by Lindy Loo


Plotline: A small Alaskan town, cut off from from the rest of the state, battens down for the upcoming 30 days of night that strikes Alaska every year. A gang of vampires takes advantage of the lack of sunlight and terrorizes the town.

Scariness factor: Admittedly, it's spooky in a part or two.



Gross-Out Factor: Pretty high in parts, but it's a vampire flick, for pete's sake. So you've gotta expect blood.

Complaints: Where to begin. Why are the vampires there? Where do they come from? Why are they bilingual? Why do they appear to be unable to close their mouths? Why do they eat everybody up so quickly instead of pacing themselves better? Why fear leaving survivors because "people might find out that you really exist" when there's already people that believe in you, and really, how would that knowledge be threatening to the vampire race anyways? Why do they talk so slowly? Seriously. Do you know how long I've been waiting to see this stupid movie because the previews made it look kind of understated and creepy and didn't really SHOW that much of the actual vampires? Quite some time, let me tell you. Needless to say, I was really kind of disappointed. I'm willing to suspend my disbelief about no vampire back-story explaining why they're there IF the movie was creepy enough that it distracted me from this hole in the plot. But it wasn't. (And don't even give me the whole "Well, it explains it in the graphic novel, so you just need to read that first" crappola because A MOVIE SHOULD WORK ON ITS OWN, even if based on a book.) I'm not a fan of Josh Hartnett. I like Ugly-Tooth Outsider in Six Feet Under a whole lot, but his character was *LAME* in here. The lead vampire I found to be alternately very creepy and very annoying. And the acting was no good. And THE FRICKING SNOW looked CGI-ed, for christ's sake.

High Points: The vampires look visually creepy. I kind of liked their weird faces. And I like the PREMISE of the movie: the oddity of Alaska's 30 days of night is worth creating a decent movie around. It's strange and lovely. And definitely vampire worthy. But they most DEFINITELY didn't take advantage of it as much as they could've.



Overall: *Pouting*

Grade: D

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6 Comments:

At 10:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Without recourse to the comic.

Why are the vampires there?

Because of the, um, 30 days of night.

Where do they come from?

Eastern Europe, which is why their Vampese is pseudo-Slavic.

Why are they bilingual?

Because not everybody speaks English as their first language.

Why do they appear to be unable to close their mouths?

Because they've got mouths like freakin' sharks.

Why do they eat everybody up so quickly instead of pacing themselves better?

Because they want to get fed and get out. They don't intend to hang about, they just need to get everybody and get out. The only reason they stick around is that they can't round up the survivors.

Why fear leaving survivors because "people might find out that you really exist" when there's already people that believe in you, and really, how would that knowledge be threatening to the vampire race anyways?

This wasn't in the book but it is a reference to Dracula. Vamps can really only operate during a 12 hour window. Humans, if they were aware and organized, could operate on a 24 hour cycle and could quickly exploit any vamp weakness. This suggests secrecy is best, but you've still got that "I'm only good for like 10 hours" problem. The answer is to get a personal Renfield to run errands during the day time. Hence, the crazy dude.

Why do they talk so slowly?

Again, because they've got mouths like freakin' sharks.

 
At 5:04 PM, Anonymous Lindy Loo said...

Ok. I hear you on most of those, but you've gotta admit: the reason they don't close their mouths (BECAUSE THEY COULD, THEY REALLY COULD) is that the filmmakers wanted to show off their teeth non-stop. TELL ME IT'S NOT TRUE! TELL ME! ; )

 
At 10:07 PM, Anonymous malone said...

I had been looking forward to seeing this movie, but I don't think I'll bother now, it sounds a like a big dissappointment. With Snow! With CGI-ed snow!!!

 
At 11:41 PM, Blogger Bijoux said...

I watched this movie tonight. I can only say "it was okay." I wasn't planning on watching this movie after I saw that you (Lindy loo) had given it a "D" but my hubbie came home with it from the video rental shop and he was keen on watching it so i went along for the ride. The thing I found the most scary and creepy was the Vampire's faces, the piranha teeth and especially the fingernails. Long fingernails (and toenails) creep me out. And that strange dialect was creepy sounding too! Blood and gore is not my thing and as a result, I did almost gag outright after one very gory scene of a body being completely pulverized. The grade I'm giving this is a C.

p.s. I cannot stand Josh H. either.

 
At 11:59 AM, Anonymous Dark Choas said...

I think there needs to be a comment on the fact that it's an adaptation of a graphic novel / comic book.

I wonder if Mr. or Mrs. Anonymous has read the original material and that's where he or she is getting the answers from. Although I pretty much understood that they came from somewhere in Eastern Europe. But when you translate it to film, you need some of that there.

I agree that they killed everyone in the town off too fast. Ok, so they're hungry and want to move on, but that destroys the pacing of the film and I felt it made the last half of the film drag. Now to me, they killed off their best character way too quick.

The gorging scenes also pissed me off with them accelerating the film speed of it. I get it, it's an aesthetic choice, but it didn't work for me, made it more cheesy. I'm also kind of getting tired of this gritty MTV like editing in horror films as well.

There were a few creepy parts and the screeches were also effective to a point. After the thousandth time they just got annoying.

I've never read the comics, so maybe I'm missing things. However, when a film isn't marketed only towards the fans of the comic, then the film should give the information needed to make the film make more sense

One thing that bothered me as well was the blatant shots that told the viewer this will be important later in the film, it wasn't subtle, it was in your face. In foreshadowing, subtlety works the best.

As for why the vampires are there; this used to bother me and now it doesn't. I was pissed when I found out 30 Days of Night existed as a comic because I thought the idea was genius and do something with it. I get why they would go there, but there were probably a lot of places to choose. Again, yes, it's a small and secluded town cut off from everywhere, but was that it? Then I look at the film Cloverfield, a lot of people's complaints are, why is the monster there? What's the purpose of it? Well the purpose of the film is to have it from a civilian point of view and the lack of information you would be given in an event like this. The purpose was to leave out the why and show the now.

 
At 10:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Choas [sic]

I have read the comic book, though there's actually less regarding the vampires' origins in that book. The inclusion of the boat, the Euro suits, and the Slavic accents is all new to the film.

Curiously, there's a bit of irony about the whole "pissed when I found out 30 Days of Night existed as a comic" thing. The story was originally pitched as a movie, but nobody was interested. When Hollywood told the creators to take a hike, they decided to turn it into a comic. The comic did so well, Hollywood came back hungry for a comic property to remake.

xoxo,
Ms. Annon

 

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