Advance Review of Columbia’s ’30 Days of Night’

Today B-D’s own N2NOther sent us in an early review for 30 Days of Night, which hits theaters this Friday. As much as he liked the film, there were a lot of things that bothered him. You can read his review inside and watch this spot for an official look at the film this week. 30 Days of Night was directed by David Slade (Hard Candy) and stars Melissa George, Josh Hartnett and Danny Huston.
30 Days of Night
Review By: N2NOther
Skull rating: 7/10

30 Days of Night is a visceral, at times exciting horror film. It’s competently acted, well shot, and directed. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to make it a “great” horror film and is merely a “good” horror film with the main problems being the script and surprisingly, it’s villains.

Good news for gore fans: This is a HARD R. Plenty of open, gushing wounds, severed heads and an extremely graphic beheading fill a good chunk of the 115 minute or so running time. There are some spectacular set pieces and it’s plainly obvious that David Slade and company set out to make a serious, scary horror film. Unfortunately, they failed to make it suspenseful because not only are the vampires not very scary, but there’s not a single character to care about.

The vampires LOOK amazing. The best I’ve seen on screen in, well, ever…Not just teeth and pale eyes, these vamps are actual monsters. The problem is all auditary. The sounds they make are at times laughable and their made up dialect sounds like a corny dialect from the 60’s Star Trek. Both are so distracting that they strip these villains of any bite they might have had (sorry, for the bad pun).

With the exception of a game effort by Hartnett (he’s actually not the smug prick he usually plays) every other character barely registers despite the time we spend with them. The problem, I feel, is that there are too many of them and not enough times spent with a single one of them. And a LITTLE humor, while sometimes the bane of horror, goes a long way to making the audience care about the characters before their inevitable demise. Again, I understand that this was intentional, but no one even has a believably humorous reaction to the insanity going on.

Now, before anyone gets upset by this I’ll point a great example in John Carpenter’s The Thing. There is funny dialogue through out but the most memorable line comes when a character sees a disembodied head sprout spider legs and walk away. “You gotta be fucking kidding” is a funny line and not at all out of context with the horror on screen. There are plenty of opportunities for moments like this and none were exploited.

The passage of the 30 days is also a weakness. Understandable in the graphic novel, it comes off as silly here. With the exception of facial hair, it feels like one night, rather than a month.

These things won’t bother some if not most viewers, which is fine, but I was hoping for a bit more than some great moments threaded together by long stretches of good intentions.

Source: Visit official website