"If Blood and Gore Is What You Want, Blood and Gore You Get"
30 DAYS OF NIGHT takes moviegoers to the small, isolated town of Barrow, Alaska. For 30 days each winter, the town is plunged into a state of complete darkness when the sun sets and does not rise again for 30 days. This winter the town is host to a group of unwelcome guests, bloodthirsty vampires, ready to take advantage of the uninterrupted darkness to feed on the residents. The sheriff of Barrow, Sheriff Eben Oleson (Josh Hartnett), and his estranged wife, Stella (Melissa George), must lead an ever-shrinking group of survivors to do all they can to survive until the daylight returns.
There is a bit of mystery allowed as the story unfolds, when all forms of transportation out of town begin to be disabled. But the mystery quickly disappears as the characters come face to face with the “team” of vampires that have come to ravage the townspeople. And, as if the coming carnage against the people weren’t enough, the vampires also slaughter all of the town’s sled dogs.
The back-story for the plot to this movie is almost entirely missing. The audience does not know where the vampires came from, how they found this town, and why they haven’t used the ploy of darkness years ago. The writers and/or director did avoid most of the typical vampire clichés – silver bullets, holy water, stakes through the heart, and strands of garlic – but there is nothing new to the rest of the plot. The vampires are driven only by their thirst for blood and those who are bitten and not beheaded quickly turns into a vampire themselves. The sickness of the movie, beyond the gore, begins to deepen as a child is graphically depicted as transformed into a bloodthirsty monster. Then the realization that beheading a vampire can kill it forces the audience to succumb to even more graphic violence and stomach turning goriness. There is an unspeakable amount of blood in each and every scene and completely unnecessary “attention to detail” in the remains and pieces of the vampire’s victims.
The acting is average but with Hartnett finding his fit in a character with little emotion and a mostly one-dimensional character. The writing is the weakest part of the movie, however. As mentioned above, the back-story and set-up are mostly non-existent and the dialogue is plagued with uncreative and cheesy one-liners. The strongest aspects of the film as far as production value most certainly are the cinematography and special effects. The vampires themselves are nothing new except having a more modern and “edgy” look than other movie vampire. Covered in blood and constantly showing off their fangs and razor sharp teeth, the creatures themselves offer nothing new. However, the graphic death and “flood” of blood are all too realistic and, in terms of special effects, well done, though monotonous.
Anyone with a conscience or a weak stomach will want to avoid this movie at all cost. It is difficult to have to endure almost two hours of carnage, blood and gore with the prevailing message that no amount of good and human determination and goodwill can overcome evil. (Spoiler warning) The writers took this so far as to have one of the townspeople cry out to God for help, as the vampires “toy” with her before killing her. Then the vampire leader pauses, looks to the sky mockingly, then replies to her cry for help with “no God.” That is the end of that character in the movie in one of the most graphic murders. Overall, the film gives glory to evil, weakness of humanity, and a sick obsession with gore and graphic murder of almost the entire population of a town. And, the vampires are not the only murderer in town. There is a hint near the end about another overwhelmingly disturbing “twist” in the story.
(HH, PaPa, FR, B, LLL, VVV, AA, DD, M) Strong humanist worldview in that the story shows the survival of the fittest rather than good overcomes evil by moral means with God’s power plus the lead vampire says there is no God but he is shown to be pure animal evil, with some strong pagan content with false philosophical/religious content where movie shows the existence and supremacy of evil, animalistic vampire creatures, plus light moral elements such as family members helping family members and people helping other people survive onslaught from evil creatures; 31 obscenities (including 11 “f” words), one strong profanity, two light profanities, and one blasphemy when villain says there is no God; very strong violence with extreme blood and gore including dogs slaughtered off screen, humans and vampires beheaded, and vampires slaughter and eat people; no sex; no nudity; brief alcohol use and 15-year-old drinks vodka after encounter with vampires; a reference to using marijuana for medicinal purposes and jokes are made about a teenager’s possible interest in marijuana and about villains being on PCP or something; and, the main characters are a married couple who are split up and not trying to resolve problems and save their marriage.
30 DAYS OF NIGHT takes moviegoers to the small, isolated town of Barrow, Alaska, the northernmost city in the U.S. For 30 days each winter, the town is plunged into complete darkness when the sun sets. This winter the town is host to a group of unwelcome guest, bloodthirsty vampires, ready to take advantage of the uninterrupted darkness to feed on the residents. The sheriff of Barrow, Eben Oleson, and his estranged wife, Stella, must lead an ever-shrinking group of survivors to do all they can to survive until the daylight returns.
The production values lie with the special effects and cinematography but fall far short of being truly entertaining in the writing, acting and plot. Anyone with a conscience or a weak stomach will want to avoid this movie at all cost. It is very difficult to have to endure almost two hours of carnage, blood and gore with the prevailing message that no amount of good and human determination and goodwill can overcome evil. Overall, the movie gives glory to evil, shows the weakness of God and humanity, and has a sick obsession with gore and graphic murder.