movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link]

PEOPLE: Produced by Sam Raimi (Evil Dead, etc), who passed on directing it. Directed by David Slade, who went on to direct Twilight 3. Written by Steve Niles and Stuart Beattie (Pirates Of The Carribean 1-4, G.I. Joe:Rise Of The Cobra). The main estranged couple is played by Josh Hartnett (Sin City, Black Hawk Down) and Melissa George (Kathy Lutz in The Amityville Horror 2005, Camilla Rhodes in Mulhalland Dr., May in Dark City, Home And Away, Alias). Vampire Marlow is played by Danny Huston (Poseidon from Clash Of The Titans 2010, Col. William Stryker from X-Men Origins:Wolverine, 21 Grams, Timecode). The stranger [who sat in a jail cell] was played by Ben Foster (Angel from X-Men 3). That huge-ass trucker dude (Mark Boone Junior) was in Memento, Batman Begins, The Thin Red Line, Se7en, Die Hard 2. Jake Oleson (grandma’s son who works at the cop station) is played by TV actor Mark Rendall.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Husband performs heroics to save estranged wife, but dies anyway. Loser.

QUIRKS: Vampire survival.

Based on a 3-issue comic book.

Set in Alaska, during a time that the sun sets for 30 days straight; perfect time for vampires to lay seige to a town that can only be reached via airplane.

The vampires have their own language, created explicitly for the movie. It sounds really fucking cool, but it’s also quite melodramatic, so it can come off as cheesy at the same time. But it was a good idea: A language with clicks, like in Africa, and other hard Slavik-sounding gutteral hawking noises. Something that sounds ancient, vicious, and animalistic. It was a good idea. It’s fun to imitate. Two Beans does a great imitation.

The vampires are pretty mean and toothy; not like the sexy vampires so many movies of the past few decades have been using. They are animalistic, and (for the most part) unable or unwilling to speak in English — even if they were an English-speaking person who was ‘turned’. There are exceptions to this, though.

VISUALS: Nighttime throughout almost the entire movie. The funny thing is, they actually shot many of the night scenes during the day.

Snow + vampires. This is like Let The Right One In in that sense. (But not in any other sense.) For some reason, the snow here isn’t nearly as depressing, though.

WILHELM SCREAM: Yup! Heard it! When a guy is getting thrown off a roof…

MORALS: Honestly what I got out of this was — if you’re going to try to survive, FUCK OTHER PEOPLE. Just do it alone, or with one person to use as bait in case you need to make a break for it.

GOOD STUFF: This almost felt like a zombie survival movie! A lot of vampire movies involve hunting the vampires, and they rarely involve a whole town being held under siege. That’s usually in the realm of zombie movies. So this ends up being a vampire movie that feels like a zombie movie. That’s an interesting combination.

BAD STUFF: Definitely some plot holes. IMDB‘s trivia for this movie talks about some of them in specific. It’s a movie. You have to remember that.

CONCLUSION: I really liked it. it was a vampire movie, but it almost felt like a zombie survival movie. The isolated location helped add to the hopelessness. It was definitely entertaining. Running a bit on the long side, we still weren’t really bored. It’s no masterpiece, but it’s better than a lot of vampire movies…

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 7.6/10 (low 8).
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.
Two Beans: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 4/10.

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 6.6/10, Netflix: 3.4/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.5/5 stars).

RECOMMENDATION: Check it out, because the sequel just came out this year.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Has spun off into 2 webisode series: 30 Days Of Nights: Blood Trails (rated 5.8 on IMDB) and 30 Days Of Nights: Dust To Dust (rated 6.6 on IMDB).

There’s also a sequel, to be reviewed tomorrow.

Some other movies that are mentioned as being similar: The Thing (1982), Storm Of The Century (1999), Dawn Of The Dead (2004), Frostbiten (2006).

MOVIE QUOTE:

Sheriff Eben Oleson: Hell of a day.
The Stranger: Just you wait.

Marlow: [speaking in vampire language] That which can be broken must be broken.

Marlow: [speaking in vampire language] There is no escape. No hope. Only hunger and pain.

Mood: full of deliciousness
Music: Torsten Rasch – Nebel