30 Days of Night Review
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It might not be wise to watch 30 Days of Night in the middle of a blizzard on a dark and dreary winter nightóbut thatís exactly what I did. Maybe thatís why my heart started pounding as soon as I was transported into the dark and snowy town of Barrow, long before the real action even began. Or maybe itís just because the atmosphere of the movie is so dismal and heavy that it filled me with a sense of foreboding right from the start.

In this dark and dismal vampire flick, Josh Hartnett stars as Eben Oleson, sheriff of Barrow, the northernmost point in the US. As the town prepares for its annual 30 days of non-stop darkness, reports of all kinds of unusual crimes start coming in. A bunch of cell phones are stolen and burned. The townís sled dogs are killed. Then a mysterious stranger (Ben Foster) appears out of nowhere and starts talking about death and destruction.

Once the last plane has left Barrow and the town is plunged into a month of darkness, the horror beginsóand the last remaining residents of Barrow find themselves alone in the dark with a band of bloodthirsty vampires, who ravage the town, feasting on its inhabitants one by one. A few manage to escape, but with no way out of town, their only hope is to hide out until the sun rises again.

Based on the graphic novels by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith, 30 Days of Night isnít your typical modern horror movie. Itís not an hour and a half of chainsaws and gore. Itís not filled with cheap scares (though there may be one or two). And it doesnít fit into the usual horror formulas. So if you like your horror movies bloody and brainless, itís best to look elsewhere. Because itís not the violence that makes 30 Days so horrifying; itís the fear of whatís coming. It isnít a fast and furious gore-fest; itís a slow and suspenseful thriller that taunts its audience with an unseen horror that could be lurking anywhere. Itís the atmosphere that makes the movie what it is. The constant darkness makes it almost claustrophobic, and the snowy surroundings make it all the more chilling. And while much of the vampire action takes place off-screen, youíll feel their presence throughout the movieóthough those background shrieks, the faraway gunshots, and eerie feeling that someoneís always watching.

Though Hartnett gives his usual flat and expressionless performance, youíll barely noticeóbecause his character is the least of your concerns. What stands out about this haunting movie is the evil: the blood-dripping vampires and the crazed stranger who predicts their coming.

Itís definitely not the best thing to watch when youíre home alone on a dark winter night, but 30 Days of Night is a chilling thriller that you wonít soon forget.

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