Time: 113 mins.
SYNOPSIS: After an Alaskan town is plunged into darkness for a month, it is attacked by a bloodthirsty gang of vampires.
BOTTOM LINE: I have to admit to not really enjoying horror movies anymore, mostly becasue the violence and gore have gone too far for me. So why, did I watch this particular flick. Well, I was looking for a little mindless entertainment and while it definitely delivered that, it's also a disturbingly violent movie that keep me watching though sometimes with my eyes averted. 30 DAYS is an intense ride filled with death and mayhem that leaves nothing to the imagination. The vampires portrayed here are like none I've ever seen before and hope to never see again. Hartnett gives his most adult performance as the Sheriff of this tiny town that's quickly taken over and literally devoured by the Vampires. The humans have no where to go, no one to help them and 30 days until the sun rises again.
It doesn't take long for him to devolve into a killer himself as he's forced to make terrible decisions to keep his small group of survivors, including his younger brother and estranged wife (George), alive. There's not much of a plot or character development, you mostly stick around to see who's going to make it to daylight. The horrible conditions cold, hunger, lack of sleep, impending death are enough to keep the film interesting, even though it has nothing new to say. The vampires are merely killing machines in cool clothes. Though Danny Huston tries to make something of his leadership role, there's really no depth to these killers. The fact that they speak in an ancient tongue that requires subtitles only slows the action down. It's hard to be classy with blood smeared all over your face and if I wanted to read, I'd pick up a book.
I believe it's based on a graphic novel and the art direction and cinematography truly make you feel the isolation and cold. The way they shot the vampires killing is horrifying and the massacre of the town is a scene I won't soon forget. The effects are bloody and gory in the extreme, so if you're not into severed heads this is not the film for you. It may be stylized, but that doesn't make it any easier to take. Even though you barely get to know the characters, it's hard to watch people destroyed so brutally. It gets a little silly/ridiculous towards the end as they amp up, as if it's even necessary, the gore, but I have to give them kudos for the final battle between Hartnett and the Vampires. At this point the story takes a turn I wasn't expecting and gives the film an ending that is both touching and realistic. I can't say I "enjoyed" watching this movie, but if you're looking for a film that's scary and gross, it satisfies.