30 Days Of Night (R16)

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner1/11/2007

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 100 mins (approx)

30 Days Of Night has a terrific premise and an intriguing setting, but it's badly let down by poor direction, dismal acting and an appalling script.

What's it all about?
Based on a graphic novel, 30 Days Of Night is set in Barrow, Alaska, where night lasts for 30 days. As the darkness descends, most of the townsfolk have the good sense to head south, but a few residents remain, only to discover that a group of bloodthirsty vampires are intent on drinking the town dry.

Led by the sinister Marlow (Danny Huston), the vampires quickly get stuck in, having sent a human wannabe (Ben Foster) ahead of them to cut phone lines and so on. Meanwhile, Sheriff Eben (Josh Hartnett) and his estranged wife Stella (Melissa George) gather as many survivors as they can and try to keep them alive until daylight.

The Good
There are some enjoyable sequences, such as survivor Mark Boone Jnr attacking the vampires with a JCB, but they're few and far between and the film should have been packed with them.

The Bad
Unfortunately, 30 Days Of Night completely squanders its brilliant premise, because other than the occasional Big Brother-style caption (Day 17) and the odd spot of facial hair, there's nothing to suggest that the film takes place over 30 days instead of just one night. Sure, the survivors get hungry, but this is swiftly dealt with by having them break into a supermarket and scarf down Oreo cookies.

The script is extremely bad and not in a so-bad-it's-good way, either. For example, it takes Eben nearly 30 days to have a heart-to-heart with Stella, even though all they've been doing is hiding in attics and dodging vampires for a month. Similarly, Josh Hartnett gives perhaps his most wooden performance to date (and that's saying something) and there's zero chemistry between him and George. The biggest problem, however, is that the film is actually boring for long stretches at a time.

Worth seeing?
In short, 30 Days Of Night is a badly written, poorly directed mess that completely wastes its inspired premise. Shame.

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30 Days Of Night (R16)
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Content updated: 22/10/2019 13:01

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