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30 Days of Night

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Having read Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith's graphic novel I was not sure how this movie was going to adapt their popular and acclaimed comic book horror story. I saw the trailers and was still not convinced. Having met both writer and artist at Comic Con this year I had them sign my comics and they were both great to chat with. They assured me that the movie had done their work justice.

They were abso-fuckin-lutely right!

The movie opens in the bleak, utterly frozen outskirts of Barrow Alaska. A man is walking down a frozen tundra, leaving behind a sea going vessel. The camera zooms in on his face and he looks half crazed and mad. Yep, he's a ghoul.

From that point on its a series of strange events that begins to cut off the town from the rest of the world.

Then the night arrives and it all goes to hell. Literally.

I was struck by the isolation. It reminded me of movies like Schindler's List, where survivors of Krakow hid themselves from the Nazis to escape deportation to the concentration camps. Except in this case the Nazi's are inhuman monsters who will tear you apart for a meal.

My favorite scene, if Im allowed a brief spoiler, is the scene where the vampires use a girl as bait to ferret out the remaining food supply. The head vamp looks into the eyes of the quivering, freezing girl and as she utters "Please God..." he looks up into the night sky, searching, then says "... No God"

Bravo to Niles and Templesmith and to David Slade and Sam Raimi. Great, great, great adaptation of the graphic novel and one that does the story justice.

If you are into Ricean angsty vampires this is not for you. If you are into Nitzhean-nihilistic horror then enjoy. You are going to get a massive serving of in your face God is Dead.

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Oh, I totally agree. this movie not only kicked ass, but damn near broke its foot off in it! I have long since hated the long-flowing hair, uber-sexy suduce-you-before-drinking-your-blood kind of vampire movies. Tom Cruise can suck a long one. I have been singing the praises of this movie over on the IMDB forums, fighting with all the nay sayers, which is odd because the movie is getting a mostly favorable rating on that site as well as most other sites. So apparently, there are just a core group of people who hated the film and are trolling around on all the movie forums blasting it. But it was, with the exception of Grindhouse, my favorite horror film, not only of this year, but probably of the last 5 years.

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Donor

I wasn't too impressed and questioned a few things. Why the hell the vampires who were always hungry go on a rampage in the first evening trying like hell to feed on everybody yet spilling more blood then they drank and just wasting most of their food source with blatant slaughter and discarding of those they killed? After the master told his vampire group to kill everybody by breaking the necks, just how did they screw up that up by creating the little girl vampire? Then the vampires go and kill their only ghoul, the only person that could help them travel and prep a town for their arrival. I also didn't understand the master combing blood into his hair, was that suppose to be a snack for later?

Sure, there was some entertainment value but the story needed a bit of help, but I was glad the hero died in the end and there wasn't some hoaky existence or means by which he would live forever as a part of the city, as if accepted.

As for the vampires themselves, they didn't seem to have much going for themselves beyond impressive strength (or Vigor). Kind of boring vampires. I also would have liked to have known just how the hell did the vampires, who seemed to have no self control, get humanity to believe they were myth or bogymen. It seems that only if they were trapped in some ice layer for several centuries would they have been able to do that because they didn't seem to have much interaction with humans beyond putting fear into their ghoul (or slave), drinking, and killing of them.

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I wasn't too impressed and questioned a few things. Why the hell the vampires who were always hungry go on a rampage in the first evening trying like hell to feed on everybody yet spilling more blood then they drank and just wasting most of their food source with blatant slaughter and discarding of those they killed? After the master told his vampire group to kill everybody by breaking the necks, just how did they screw up that up by creating a the little girl vampire? Then the vampires go and kill their only ghoul, the only person that could help them travel and prep a town for their arrival. I also didn't understand the master combing blood into his hair, was that suppose to be a snack for later?

Sure, there was some entertainment value but the story needed a bit of help, but I was glad the hero died in the end and there wasn't some hoaky existence or means by which he would live forever as a part of the city, as if accepted.

As for the vampires themselves, they didn't seem to have much going for themselves beyond impressive strength (or Vigor). Kind of boring vampires. I also would have liked to have know just how the hell did the vampires, who seemed to have no self control, get humanity to believe they were myth or bogymen. It seems that only if they were trapped in some ice layer for several centuries would they have been able to do that because they didn't seem to have much interaction with humans beyond putting fear into their ghoul (or slave), drinking, and killing of them.

OK, let me answer some of those questions for you. They didn't discard those they killed. You never see any bodies just lying around the town later in the movie, do you? That's because they drag the bodies away to feed off of them, either continue to drink the blood from their bodies, or eat the bodies altogether. That creates a lasting food source. As for the blood spilling, these weren't your two-pointed-teeth vamps. They had rows of shark teeth, which would make it very hard for a 'clean kill'. Mostly, those teeth would be suited for ripping a throat out all together. Can't avoid a blood spill with that.

They were totally cutting loose in the town. In the rest of the world, for the rest of the year, they had to be very seacrative and sneaky. Could never indulge their true nature and appitites. But in that town, cut off from the rest of the world, and with the plan to burn down the town completely before they left, they could completely cut loose. The vampires in this moive were like people at Mardi Gras. The rest of the year, very toned down. That one time, cut loose and buck wild.

The little girl thing, common mistake, I've run into several people who didn't get this. That girl was one of the original vampires that came to the town. She was not a townsperson who had been turned. This was shown two ways, one, she had a small symbol tattoo'ed on her arm, suppose to be a vampiric symbol, i guess, and you would probably never find a parent who would tattoo a child that young. Second, the survivors remarked that no one recognized her. In a town that small, there would be no way there could be a child no one knew. Also, the whole sundress thing, in that cold of a place, no kid would even own a sundress. No, she was one of the original vampires, not a town resident.

As for killing the Stranger, who knows. Could be the leader was tired of his whining about becoming a vampire and wanted him dead. Maybe he planned on finding a survivor in the town and making them the new ghoul. The Stranger wasn't entirely successful, after all, he got himself arrested and was getting crazier and crazier.

And the blood in his hair, was just to show how they were reveling in their bloodlust and practically bathing in it. Again, something they never get to do anywhere else because they have to keep a low profile.

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Moonpride, you clearly addressed those points well and you clearly get this story. Have you read the graphic novels?

Even the criticism I heard, which involves the scene after Eben kills the head vampire and then is not killed by the other vampires is addressed earlier in the film when the female vampire is burned near death and the strongest kills her. These vampires are darwinian and clearly believe in the strongest ruling the weaker. By killing Vicente, Eben proves he's the strongest and therefore they let him live. I was afraid the movie would gloss over this but in fact it didnt. Well handled.

Yes, these vampires are not sexy, they are not angsty or ricean. If that is what you like in your vampire then this movie is not for you.

Im glad you guys liked it. And for those who have not read the original graphic novel please go find and read it. Excellent.

On an aside, for any who are intested in more Niles/Templesmith there is a short independent film that serves as the prelude to this movie. Here is the link, its actually very faithful to the feel and look of the movie.

Its called 30 Days of Night: Blood Trails

http://www.fearnet.com/Video.aspx?mid=8494...44-85a8bc7825de

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Curator

Just to say, I thought the movie was awesome.

I really need to read the graphic novels.

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Oh you guys have me salivating, been looking forward to this for ages and hoping for a great adaptation. My fears are quoshed. Havent seen it yet and hoping my recent back sprang keeps it together long enough for me to get to cinema, after that I can sprawl out in agony, happy and sated but in pain.

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wow Lostsoul, sorry to hear, I threw my back out few years back and it was no picnic, take it easy and try to get good painkillers

It's doing really well, so I'm sure it will be in the cinema for a couple more weeks.

Feel better!

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Moonpride, you clearly addressed those points well and you clearly get this story. Have you read the graphic novels?

Yep, I have them all on my computer.

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Donor

Just saw it. Loved it. The vampires really came off to me as Shark like in a few aspects, what with the one girl's nose (the one who got burnt), another vampire's Jaw (the bald dude), the shark teeth, and the constat tasting of the air...

Wonder why they did that? Emphasis on predatory aspects?

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Curator

That's what I would assume. I thought it was a cool touch.

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Despite not having read any of the graphics novels, I rather enjoyed it ...

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Donor

I think I enjoyed the Fear Net material more than the movie itself and though there were people who liked the movie I don't understand the reasoning behind people pointing out graphic novels and such to judge the movie itself. The movie should be able to stand alone and not need commentary from other sources. It's sort of like stating somebody needing to read all the Spiderman comics to understand the movie. If the vampires, for example, and as somebody pointed out, where storing their victims to be fed on later, I think the movie should have showed that. Neither my girlfriend nor I could get that the kid wasn't from that town (as she spoke English verses whatever the vampires where speaking) and seemed to be in the movie more for shock value. Seemed to me that the vampires were just a bunch of rampaging maniacs that were going to go onto the next town and do the same as they'd done in the movie (as there was a bit of a flash to vampires doing just that during the whole burning down of the town scene).A little more behind the scenes with the vampires or even monologuing (which not a lot of people like in itself) may have answered some of the questions. Again, didn't hate the movie but it wasn't that great either.

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Curator

I know what you mean. It felt like if I had read the graphic novel, then I might have had a slightly better understanding.

It was still a cool movie tho..

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My wife and I saw the film last week for Halloween. Better than waiting at home for trick-or-treaters that weren't ever going to come...

We both thought it was a fun movie. Great? Hell no. But a lot of fun. Some pretty nice suspense, a nice twist ending that I won't say anymore about, nice gore without being gruesome. On that last point, although there was a lot of bloody snow, and more than one arterial sprays, I didn't find the film to be overly gruesome, like the SAW films for example (or what I've seen of them).

It was also very cool to see vampires as something other than the typical seductive and attractive imagery we've come to be accustomed to. Seeing *monsters* just revel in their own monstrosity was a kinda cool turn.

So I'd say it was a fun movie. Worth at least a matinee price ticket.

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Donor

The setting sounds alot like that of the Swedish movie Frostbite, which really wasn't a big hit.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0454457/

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I wasn't a huge fan of the comics, for a list of reasons that aren't really important, but it was a decent enough movie. Though it fell into a few standard traps, such as the "we'll be back to this later" mentioning of the grinder in the first few scenes. And it certainly covered the passage of time much better than the comic did, though the little day #whatever bits if nothing else. Plus the actual look of the vampires was fantastic.

One thing that did strike me though - wasn't their guttural howling a perfect exaple of the Tongue of the Beast from Belial's Brood?

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Donor

I guess I'm a sucker for books because I'm at the Half Priced book store and spy two different 30 days of Nights book and even though I'm not a huge fan of the movie, I decide to pick them up. I hope the books explain why they are both 30 days of nights books when I think only the movie takes place in a city with an actual 30 days of night.

Oh well.

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Donor

I rather liked "Near Dark" so I plan to see this movie Monday as a Matinee showing, gotta watch MNF given my team is on National TV and well to be honest, I have money riding on it. Yes, I have interests outside RPG's.

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I know that's it's nearly impossible to do a graphic novel artist's work justice when converting to film...and while Sin City spoiled me quite a bit, a *fantastic* job was done with 30 Days of Night. I have read it, and still enjoy the film. I think that alone represents the achievement.
Everyone else who posted before me really hit various nails on the head, so I won't go into the finer points of why I adore the movie...

But has anyone read Singularity 7? It's a short graphic novel written and illustrated by Ben Templesmith, about alien nanites that completely transform Earth as we know it, and those who attempt to fight back. Again it has his dreamy, horrific, signature style...and it's so short it leaves me begging for more.

I *really* want to see this translated into film...

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Donor

Just got the DVD, I concur with MrGone.

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Curator

I rather liked "Near Dark"

It's one of my all time favorites movies.

(Alexandra @ Mar 8 2008, 05:09 AM)

But has anyone read Singularity 7? It's a short graphic novel written and illustrated by Ben Templesmith, about alien nanites that completely transform Earth as we know it, and those who attempt to fight back. Again it has his dreamy, horrific, signature style...and it's so short it leaves me begging for more.
I *really* want to see this translated into film...

Hmmm...I might have to check that out. Thanks..

BTW, 30 days of Night is out on dvd..and what pisses me off is, there was a little short series(7 parts totaling 30 minutes) called Blood Trails(was a prequel of sorts) and it was not on the dvd. WTF?

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