Often struggling screen writers are so bereft of ideas that they look to all sorts of idioms to get ideas. The trend of buying newspaper articles is a recent thing, with films such as "zodiac" starting life as a magazine article. Comic Books are a guilty pleasure (years of being weaned on Desperate Dan?), and I was very glad to hear that we were soon to get a screen version of the wonderful "30 Days of Night" You feel very old, when you start to look for the good old days when comic were the main source material for your next big action flick. The film has gone from comic cult classic to headline film with in five years, but was it worth the quick turn around.
The comic original was ripe for the remake or re-imagining, but the film has kept it’s source material in mind when considering cinematography casting and script. The film has a intelligent grasp of the genre confines of horror, fantasy and movie scare tricks that never get tiring. The audience trend in modern film is realistic fantasy(?), and the vampires and their movements are grounded in reality and this makes the film all the more effective.
Josh Hartnett is your typical screen hero "Eben" and takes to the role with some vigour as an honest sheriff in one of the most secluded points in America. His town Barrow once a year experiences thirty days of night, due to its position on Earth. The viewer makes the jump and understands what a great place this would be for vampires to visit. (even a vampire says in dulcet Eastern European "why didn’t we come here before"). I respond as a viewer and sometimes writer, when I thought to myself, "why didn’t I think of that?" The film wastes no time in placing characters in place, giving the back story where possible and most importantly getting destruction and blood shed on the screen as quickly as possible. The set pieces are greatly inventive, and the director of photography has a great time using every shot in his CV. The film has problems in pacing but missing several days in the middle of the infamous thirty can be forgiven.
The film contains one of the most brutal decapitation scenes in the history of beheadings, and I would suggest that we need to see if the actor involved has made any films since, that’s how real it looks. The ending is brilliant, a great left handed turn, followed by one of the best showdowns in vampire film, that encompasses tradition, the mentality of our hero, and the hierarchy that vampires live by.
Have a look of the trailer here