30 Days of Night (R)

Horror 113 October 19, 2007
By Robert Wilonsky
Writer Steve Niles and illustrator Ben Templesmith’s three-issue comic-book series, originally published in 2002, spawned a franchise and, now, a big-screen adaptation by doing little more than drenching the centuries-old vampire myth in just a little more gore — something for the kids. Director David Slade’s stab at the story is actually rather ordinary, a grisly game of hide-and-seek pitting the town’s few survivors (among them Josh Hartnett as the sheriff) against the bloodsucking gang, led by Danny Huston, who speaks in a foreign tongue just for extra spookiness. The promise of endless night is misleading; they should have called this 30 Days for Night because the thing’s as brightly lit as any MGM musical, despite the power being out all over town. Alas, there are much larger problems, chief among them that the movie just isn't very scary. And perhaps that’s the point: It’s as much a Western as it is a horror film, with Harnett as Will Kane and Huston’s posse as the evildoers come to do him in. Get it? High Noon where it’s always midnight. Shrug. Still, it’s the best thing Hartnett’s ever done; the undead sure do have a way of making him look, ya know, alive.
David Slade Ben Foster, Josh Hartnett, Melissa George, Danny Huston, Kate O'Rourke, Manu Bennett, Craig Hall, Megan Franich, Ben Fransham, Mark Boone Junior Steve Niles, Stuart Beattie Sam Raimi, Robert G. Tapert Sony Pictures/Columbia

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