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30 Days of Night


Stars: Josh Hartnett, Melissa George, Danny Huston, Ben Foster

Director: David Slade

A very grim, somewhat overlong, but skilfully-made vampire movie with thoroughly nasty creatures at its centre. As the annual 30 days of night nears in the well-named Alaskan town of Barrow (it means a grave), America's northernmost community, sled dogs are massacred and the town helicopter trashed. The sheriff (Hartnett) also discovers a huge pile of burned cellphones.

It's the work of The Stranger (another weirdo part for Foster), who's paving the way for a nest of vampires, led by Marlow (Huston), who have promised to spare him in return. Alas, the neck-nippers' promises aren't worth the blood they might be written in, and Foster soon, in the parlance of the old Hollywood gangster films, gets what's coming to him.

Before he goes, Foster confides to Hartnett and estranged wife George, also a cop, that 'that cold ain't the weather. That's death approachin'.' It sure is, in the form of pointy-fanged bloodsuckers who communicate in a mixture of birdlike cries and bizarre alien language.

How Hartnett and a pocket of survivors manage to hold out against this lot for the next 29 days, let alone go to the loo, is something of a mystery, but horror fans will find plenty to get their teeth into along the way in a good-looking, very gruesome movie that only raises the occasional giggle amid its suspense.

David Quinlan

USA/New Zealand 2007. UK Distributor: Icon (Columbia). Colour by Atlab.
113 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 1, Swearing 1.

Review date: 28 Oct 2007