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Rebecca Brock

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Review: 30 Days of Night
By Rebecca Brock   
Rated "PG" by the Author.
Last edited: Friday, October 26, 2007
Posted: Friday, October 26, 2007

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Finally! Vampires who don't do interviews!

Okay...I gotta say right up front: I don't like a lot of vampire movies that have come out recently.

It's not that I don't like vampires...I love them. I love the idea of a creature who drinks blood and sleeps all day and can live forever. What's not to like? Vampires are like zombies with brains (no, not the eating kind of brains...the thinking kind...uh, nevermind).

But recently, a lot of the vampire movies that have come out (usually direct to DVD or Sci-Fi channel) have been totally rotten. The vampires are all too cool for ghoul school...they wear all black leather like they've just stepped out of the Matrix and they drink blood without spilling a drop and--if they're female--they're all hot and perfect and have lots of sex with everyone.

Uh, no. That's not a vampire in my book. That's more like immortal goths with over-active libidos.

That's why I enjoyed the vampires in "30 Days of Night" so much. Sure, they looked like Euro-trash movie-terrorist villains from the '80s, but these vamps kicked ass. No dainty sipping from the jugular. These guys tear out the throat and drink blood like it's a water fountain. They wallow in it, glut themselves on it, worship it. Just like a vampire should.

Ah, yeah...

I'd read the Steve Niles graphic novel the movie is based upon, and while I loved the premise, I felt that the comic wasn't fleshed out as much as it should have been. It felt too short, too clipped. There wasn't enough characterization or description of what the few survivors of the vampires did while they were holed up in make-shift shelters. Plus, the artwork was so whacked out (and yes, I know Ben Templesmith is beloved by many in the comics world, but I found his "30 Days" work to be messy and difficult to follow) that it took away from the story instead of making it better.

For once, the movie adds more depth to a story than the book. I liked the addition of more characters, and I thought the screenwriters did a good job of portraying the long 30 days the survivors spend hiding in crawlspaces and attics. There are moments of claustrophobia that--crazily enough--reminded me of Anne Frank's story...only with vampires instead of Nazis.

Josh Hartnett is surprisingly good in his role as Sheriff Eben Oleson; he's actually growing out of his pretty-boy phase and looking like a grown man, with bags under his eyes and all. Melissa George is also good as Eben's estranged wife, Stella. She's one of the few actresses today who can appear in a horror movie and seem like a real woman instead of "Scary Movie Barbie."

The special effects are excellent, and there are a couple of scenes that actually drew gasps. One is an overhead shot of the town as the vampires have their spring break fling with the poor townspeople, and the other is quite possibly the most realistic and painful decapitation I have ever seen in a horror movie.

"Official" movie critics won't like this one, of course--God forbid they actually admit to liking a horror movie--but I say it's worth the ticket price. It's not the godawful "torture porn" (I'm looking at YOU, "Saw IV") that has glutted the theaters recently. It's just a good horror movie with vampires who don't suck (admit've been waiting for that joke all through this review).

I give this one four out of four bloody sets of fangs.

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