Hey folks, Harry here... this is the horror film of the year that I'm waiting on. I love Niles' comic, but even more - I love the premise. The comic delivers it really well, but cinematically... psychologically... film can deliver on the concept so much more intensely than the comic could convey... though the illustrations in that book gave you the sense of dread one would hope for. As for our scooper's gripe... That the tension is as taut as John Carpenter's THE THING without a release of humor... that's EXACTLY what I hoped David Slade would do. HARD CANDY was claustrophobic, horrific and unrelenting... and that had to do with a teenage girl and a grown man... not 30 Days of bloodsucking vampiric gorging upon an isolated town in the middle a cold nowhere. Here ya go... sounds like Slade is getting it done right!
I attended a screening of "30 Days of Night" in Torrance, CA. We were given the normal spiel about coloring, temp music and missing special effects and specifically day shots that have not been changed to night shots since almost the entire movie is in the dead of night or nights, in this case. Yes, I did read the graphic novel that this movie is based on, but the book didn't resonate with me. I only thought that it was clever to have a new setting to an old standard survival horror piece. The ending was cool but I don't remember loving the graphic novel, at all. I read it and forgot about it. Now to the movie. A dying breed of vampires are lead to Barrow, Alaska (population 156?) to feed upon the townies during the annual 30 days of night. Josh Hartnett is the lead. I think Josh is a good actor that is getting better and better with each movie. In this move, he really excels. It was the first time that I didn't think of him as a man-boy, who is technically old enough to play his roles but just seemed a bit inexperienced. In this movie, he is a sheriff, but more importantly a man, with a little bit of baggage. His anti-love interest is Melissa George. She just missed the last opportunity to leave Barrow, Alaska before the dreaded 30 days of night encompasses the sleepy town. Yes, she is Hartnett's baggage. Other notable actors are Mark Boone Jr. playing the town outcast with a penchant for violence, Danny Huston (channeling Vincent D'onofrio, back when he was playing weird and unfriendly) playing the lead vampire, Marlowe, and Ben Foster playing the Stranger that leads the vampires to this gold mine. The movie plays like a modern-day, survival zombie horror flick. A mish-mash of survivors use their wits to try to wait out the vampire onslaught. They watch in horror as friends, family members and neighbors are fed upon by the powerful vampire (clan?). As the survivors are culled, Josh Hartnett becomes more and more desperate for a solution. Does he and Melissa George survive? I'm not got to say. I can tell you that the movie is great, bordering on excellent. The movie is suspenseful, fairly dramatic, horrific and very, very gory. (If producers are reading this, please, please keep the scene with the little girl vampire---I know it's cliche in this day and age to have creepy little children, but this was the point in the movie that this movie was NOT fucking around. People are going to die and these survivors need to make frightening decisions!). The vampires literally chatter, screech and don't speak, though Marlowe talks vampire every once in awhile. Because of the constant chattering and screeching, I couldn't help but relate it to the constant moaning and screaming of modern-day zombies. It's not too annoying, though and stays in context with the movie. The only gripe is there is no ounce of levity or humor in this movie. Think John Carpenter's The Thing. It escalates and escalates and escalates. No pithy one-liners but at the same time, no release of tension. I could hear various audience members whispering funny things to relieve the tension. A good and thorough story that fans of thrillers may like but definitely a movie where gore-hounds may relish, especially the vampire-little girl scene. If you use this please cite me as 40 Oz. to Freedom.