HMM Day 27 – 30 Days of Night

My wife and I have had it. It’s been far too long in dealing with this bull shit and we are unfortunately moving on. We just can’t take it anymore. This entire situation we have going doesn’t work. When we first started this thing it seemed good, but over time the relationship we thought we once had has become strained and one sided. Therefore we are sad to announce to you all… we will no longer… be living in the city.

We hate city living. It’s polluted, overcrowded and smells like human shit. You can’t trust anyone. The other day I left my bike out front of a Subway just so I could get a quick bite to eat. I must have been in there for not more than five minutes and when I came back, my bike was stolen. There’s just no decency in the city. People act like animals and don’t care who they step on.

So we’ve decided to move to the most rural place imaginable. A very small town called Barrow, Alaska. None for being an oil town, my wife and I believe Barrow is the perfect place to raise our three children. There are only four thousand citizens in this lovely community. Which means less crime, less psychos and less of that annoying government overreach. We’re super excited for this change but one thing leaves us a little bothered.

It seems that this place experiences a strange occurrence every year. I mean, it’s not that big of a deal, I think we can live with it but it seems Barrow undergoes a season where there is thirty straight days of darkness. What I mean is, the sun sets… and it doesn’t come back for thirty days! It’s hard to imagine but that is the God honest truth. Think about a living an entire month without any sun? Sure electricity is fine but don’t humans need the sun for psychological and emotional support. The town also bans the consumption of alcohol during this time as well. So no booze and no sun!

But then again, maybe thirty days of darkness could be fun? I mean, what’s the worst that could happen? It’s not like we would have anything to fear. This could be a good experience for us as a family. In the end, I think moving to Barrow will be a good thing and this thirty days of night will be one of the highlights of our citizenship!

30 Days of Night is a 2007 horror film directed by David Slade and stars Josh Hartnett, Melissa George, Danny Huston, Mark Boone and Ben Foster. The film is an adaptation of a three part comic series by Steve Niles and illustrated by Ben Templesmith. The movie was produced by horror legend Sam Raimi who sent a copy of the comic to David Slade with a note on the front that said “Wouldn’t this make a great movie?” Slade liked the idea and thought it would be a great film to shoot. Originally Slade wanted to shoot the film in Alaska but due to the harsh cold and terrain, they knew it would be impossible to accomplish. It was then decided that the movie would be shot in New Zealand on built sets.

The ground was covered in white sheets and a special styrofoam substance was used to make the snow effects that seem to have become one with the walls and surroundings. The full town of Barrow was constructed so that it could be burned down for the end scenes where the vamps set fire to the town in order to flush out any survivors. Although not shot in actual cold weather, actors went through weeks of working in darkness which made them depressed and withered. Actor Danny Huston as Marlow said this only made him feel more connected to his roll as the vampire. Josh Harnett actually had mono for the first two weeks of shooting but continued on without complaining.

The movie was shot with mostly practical effects. The eyes of the vampires were thick black contact lenses. Supposedly Harnett himself bursted an eye vessel because of them. Most of the CGI work in the film was done to intensify snowfall or the distant cargo ship in the ocean. Many of the stunts were done to show vampires leaping great lengths. All in all, the movie was shot on a thirty million dollar budget and upon its release it was considered a box office success. However, the movie had mixed reviews from critiques in a time when vampires were being presented as pansy love soaked douche bags. It would receive a 2010 straight to video sequel titled 30 Days of Night: Dark Days.

The Story

In the northern most town of Barrow, Alaska. Townspeople are preparing for the seasonal change where their town experiences thirty straight days of darkness. But this year a group of vampires are set on turning Barrow into their very own hunting ground. With the sunrise a month away and no way out, the towns people led by their Sheriff Eben Oleson are forced to hide from the swarm of blood suckers!

Pissing Ruins Everything!

This marks my fifth vampire movie for this marathon! Which is just fine with me because 30 Days of Night is without a doubt one of my most favorite vampire films of all time. I saw this movie in the theater and… funny thing, it was also one of the worst experiences I have ever had in a theater. Not because of the movie but because I had to piss the entire first half of the film. But I kept putting it off until the point where I was going to burst! The movie was building up this awesome tension and I knew that at any minute, shit was gonna go down. Eventually the physical holding was too much and I got up and went to the bathroom as fast as I could. But then when I was in the bathroom, I was so excited that I actually peed on myself. My pants looked soaked so there I was in the bathroom cleaning myself off and looking like I was trying molest the hand dryer! When I returned, I walked back into the theater at the climax of the vampires invading the town. So I felt like I missed the best part! Although I saw the entire film and loved it all, I just wanted those few minutes back. So the next day I went and saw the movie for the second time, all by myself! I’ve never had that much good feeling of closure before.

That’s what makes 30 Days of Night so cool. There’s a constant build up to this cataclysmic event and everything is pushing you farther along with some awesome tension. Ben Foster plays this transient kind of guy that is sent into the town to accomplish tasks before the vamps make their entrance. The dude butchers a few dogs and shuts down the internet before he’s actually caught. But he sets the tone with this itchy disturbing kind of feel. His entire performance is the best thing about the film where they could have just made the movie with him and it would have worked. But what we get is a crazy boom factor of vampires going on a killing spree.

The Vamps!

What makes the vampires in 30 Days of Night so appealing is they seem to have a culture of their own. Apart from their mutated jaws and eyes, they have rows of sharp teeth used for tearing into flesh. But that is only the physical because it is in their language that I find them most compelling. David Slade set out to give the Nosferatu their own language in which they use to communicate. It’s an odd mixture of clicks and gurgles that give the vampires an ancient creepiness. It’s an interesting thing when a groups language can give you chills. From what I can tell, the dialogue is used in the utmost moments of their blood feast. Like the sounds only come out the right way when their throats are drenched in blood. This just adds to their savagery. But everything about them is secretive and planned. Marlow is their leader and he desires secrecy and order. Although the hunt brings us some good old fashioned bloody gore, the vampires still seem to act out in a authoritative way. Marlow gives orders and it the other lower ranking vamps do his bidding. Even his mate seeks approval from him before acting out.

30 Days of Night is a thrilling ride and one that invokes deep cold atmosphere. I love how the towns people not only face the threat of blood sucking bastards, but also the monster of the bitter cold. It’s a dynamic of the film that has a duality where the group fear the outside cold but also use it to their advantage when staying hidden from the vampires. The town itself is both a place of survival and certain doom. They can’t run in any direction because they’re surrounded by vast white wilderness, giving us a perfect idea of inescapability. As each day counts down you hunger for the sun to appear and bring our survivors salvation.

I love this movie and think it represents what good vampires are meant to be. Blood sucking monsters that view us like cattle. Marlow as the lead vampire is freaky as fuck and has this imposing appearance to him. He seems to delight in killing but also torturing with the minds of humans. His entire approach to this hunt is like Demi Moore in Indecent Proposal. Where she is bathing in cash, Marlow is bathing in blood because he’s foul and carless. When one girl cries out to God, he gets in her face and utters “No God” in English to crush her soul. This kind of way the vampires hunt and kill the townspeople is brutal and will make you cringe and it goes on and on to the point where you forget the sun is coming. If they just hold on for one more day then they can do it! But the vamps decide to set fire to push everyone out! Things go from worse to shit to hell in no time!

30 Days Of Night is a movie that deserves more recognition. I feel like its release came at a time when vampires were going through a terrible phase because of Twilight. But it’s gore and brutality, its use of practical effects and characters that have relatable approaches makes this movie one I will always talk about. Josh Harnett is great as a sheriff trying to keep his cool. I love Mark Boone as the large hermit Beau. His surprising sacrifice is badass and short lived. It gives you a breath of fresh air for the turmoil but then throws you back into the mayhem.

It is ironic that this is a movie about survivors struggling for a long period of time. As terrible vampire movies flooded the theater, it would have seemed that the subject of vampires was lost. That horror fans and especially fans of vampires would go through a time of darkness. But the sun would rise once more and 30 Days of Night would ironically be the light. I think as a stand alone film, it will remain one of the top vampire films of the modern age. Check this movie out and enjoy day twenty seven of my Horror Movie Marathon!

Thanks For Reading!

Check out past day twenty sevens from past marathons! This way you can make your horror season even more badass!

Also, if you’re new to this marathon and would like to catch up with older posts, then check these out!

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Dante says:

    I love this movie. Blood sucking, human harvesting goodness

    Liked by 1 person

    1. nscovell says:

      Hells yea man! Brings the vampires back to the way they were intended.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. rdfranciswriter says:

    I don’t hate this. I wanted to like it. I appreciated the practical effects. But I left the theater, with a “meh” taste in my mouth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. nscovell says:

      I don’t know, it was fun for me. They do a good job at making me hate the vampires.

      Like

      1. rdfranciswriter says:

        You know: I am always rewatching movies, anyway. Let me watch this again. You convinced me. I’m in a Halloween state of mind — at least until the middle of the month. Maybe that mindset will give me a new angle on this. . . .

        I do remember Josh Hartnett being very good in it (I dig him: Wished it worked out for him in a Reeves/Cruise kinda way).

        Liked by 1 person

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