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Review of 30 Days of Night

As my last activity in Canada I went to see this with Pete and Vince. I liked it more than they did.

Horror movies aren’t my first choice of viewing pleasure, but I thought this was well-done and quite enjoyable. The first thing that you notice about it is the colour. It presented in a cold, blueish tone. This is reminiscent of 300 (sam-baek, as I like to think of it), but where that film uses the technique to make the images, the violence elegant and picturesque, 30 (sam-ship) Days of Night makes itself gritty and strangely distant.

Another thing I liked about the film was its relatively modest ambitions. Yes, it charts the attempted destruction of a whole town by a group of vampires, but the town consists basically of a few houses and a lot of snow. The special effects run to fire, ridiculously long fingernails, pointy teeth and snow. And people getting their heads chopped off.

I also liked the actors. Unlike, say, Resident Evil: Extinction, it doesn’t rely on a cast of unfeasibly good-looking and well-manicured actors. The two leads are, of course, very photogenic, but a) they wear heavy, un-sexy clothes all the time, and b) they’re the only two – everyone else is plain or plain ugly. Despite being tall and handsome, I’m not averse to Josh Hartnett; he tends to play angsty, conflicted heroes, and his character here is no different (could I be the only one thinking he’d make a good Rand al’Thor?).

The vampires in the film were quite distinctive. They look pretty terrifying – with their white skins and twisted eyes. They come across as a group of normal people who have been changed into vampires – they’re not sexy, they’re not uber-tough or athletic. On the other hand, a lot of them spend the film just stading around watching the main action and they communicate either in some (presumably made up) guttural ancient language or by screaming.

What I most liked about 30 Days was the tension it created and maintain – right to the end, really. The action plays out logically for the most part and the film doesn’t overplay its hand. The acting, the script, the story – pretty much every aspect of the movie is effective. The ending is equally logical and effective, but it wasn’t as moving as I thought it should be.

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