Tuesday, October 23, 2007
30 Days of Night
As I mentioned earlier, Mafus and I hit a matinee of 30 DAYS OF NIGHT Sunday. We had both read praising reviews of the film, so we had no real trepidation going in. We even believed that the film might actually be better than the book for once and we were right. (I reread 30 DAYS later that night and the movie held up over. No bones about it.) Sure there were a few bits that could’ve been cut since the film did seem a little long. I understand that they had to stretch the tale out for the full thirty days, but they didn’t have to make it seem like a full thirty days. We were both impressed that the vampires acted like vampires and not velveteen fops spraffing on about the beauty of the night. No, these were hungry, mean, bloodsuckers that had no qualms about taking human life. They were smart too, using bellwethers to draw out fresh meat. A very nice touch. The gore is unapologetic and downright harsh at times. (Ol' three-chop Eben does quite a bit of lumberjacking necks.)
The environment helped (or is that hindered?), too. We walked out feeling half frozen ourselves. The filmmakers tapped what John Carpenter had done with THE THING: isolation and weather became the second monster. The characters knew how to handle the cold as occupants of Barrow, but knowing an environment doesn’t take away its teeth. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)
The characters, both new and from the original story, were well done. The two tough married cops from the graphic novel went from an archetype to really being flawed humans that you could care about. You felt their fear and compassion whereas in the comic you didn’t feel a whole helluva lot since you knew they were the “heroes.” (I’d say more, but I like to keep it spoiler free.) Some of the bit characters could’ve gone the way of the dodo, but you need more than just a few talking heads to move a story along and add layers of tension/danger.
All in all it was one of the better horror flicks I’ve seen at the theater in quite some time. I look forward to picking it up on DVD once it’s released. Give it a peep if you haven’t already.