30 Days of Night: Dark Days (2010) [REVIEW]

 

The first time I read 30 Days of Night, I really enjoyed myself. Did I enjoy the second book in the series? Not as much. Just didn’t have the fear or terror as the first one, so I think I traded it back to the store I bought it from. The film adaptation of that first book was really entertaining. The visuals were interesting and they really seemed to capture the tone of the book. These “vampires” weren’t some twinkling romantic pussies, they were brutal monsters ready to rip your fucking face off. I always described the art of the first comic as someone using water colors to paint something abstract, and then lines were drawn over the figures to make a more cohesive image. Every panel looked like it was made on accident, but a very lucky accident. Hopefully that makes sense, because I liked the art, that was just my shitty way of explaining it. Anyways, since I liked the first movie, I was hoping to like this one, and well, why don’t I just get started.

 

Some of you will be dead soon, some of you won’t be dead soon enough, and some of you are wearing flannel. YOU BE THE JUDGE!

One of the survivors from the original film, Stella, who was actually recast from Melissa George to Kiele Sanchez, is determined to let people know her story. Vampires are real, and they killed the people she loved. Guess what? This brings her to the attention of both vampires and vampire hunters alike! Who woulda thought?! Three self-proclaimed vampire hunters ask her to join them, seeing as how she has witnessed what they’re capable of firsthand. She reluctantly accepts, and meets another member of their team, who happens to be a vampire himself. He tells them inside information on the woman responsible for orchestrating the attacks across the world, Lilith, played by Mia Kirshner. There’s lots of running, yelling, blood, and eventually these vampire hunters find their way onto a ship that Lilith is using to get back to Alaska for another 30 days of murder and mayhem. The team also sees wounded vampires, who appear to be dead, coming back to life by having other vampires pour blood into their mouths. While on the ship, all the vampire killers die, except for Stella, who is able to surprise Lilith and chop her head off. Stella then goes back to Barrow, AK, where her dead vampire husband is, and digs up his body. In a hotel room, she cuts her own arms to bleed into his mouth in hopes of bringing him back. Congratulations, she does, but only to have him bite her on the neck. CREDITS!

 

Where’d ya get that machete, Mexico?! HAHAH GET IT?! From that other review I did?! Oh man, I’m great.

I think I enjoyed this film more than I enjoyed the comic book version, but that’s not saying much. Also, the plots were quite different. Yes, they both featured Stella trying to find people responsible, but that’s really about it. One of the reasons these vampires are so enjoyable is that because even though you know they’re vampires, they can still fuck with your expectations. The vampire hunters aren’t armed with wooden stakes or holy water, they just have whatever weapons they can find. When they try to kill them, they pretty much just try to destroy their brains, which they did in quite a few awesome ways. The first time, a vampire gets pinned to a wall and three people fire full clips from handguns into its head until it pretty much disintegrates. When one of the vampire killers turns into one himself, they smash his head open with a cinder block…repeatedly. I think there are also a few decapitations. I think there must have been a sale on prosthetic heads at a body parts warehouse.

 

Not actually sure if this is from the film or from her eHarmony page, but either way, I’m both aroused and terrified, which are pretty much the same thing.

I’m going to do something a little different and talk a little bit more about the casting and character development, something rarely talked about with horror films. Kiele Sanchez did a good job as Stella, but her character was so different in this film than it was in the first film. No discredit to her, it just seemed as though the writers flipped a switch from her being a very vulnerable character in the first film to a Milla Jovovich level asskicker with a heart of steel. It made a few moments of the film awkward. Harold Perrineau, also known as Michael from Lost, was awesome. Any movie he is in, he is great in it, and you want to see him more. The bad thing? He was the first vampire killer that dies, and it’s only about 45 minutes into the film, and it was just really disappointing. The male lead, Rhys Coiro, existed. He served as the male lead of the film, and that’s what he did, nothing more, nothing less. Well, maybe a little bit less, but whatever. It was nice to see Diora Baird playing a slightly different role than she normally does. Normally, she gets cast as the token female eye candy that will be on the receiving end of all male attention in a film, and most likely she dies. Her role in this was a lot more like Bill Paxton in Aliens, albeit a much more toned down version that wasn’t really comedic. She didn’t agree with the female lead and wanted to do things her way, but not in some “damsel in distress” kind of way. There were points where you almost didn’t like her, which was a fun role to see her play. Mia Kirshner played the weirdo vampire that is good-looking, but even if you didn’t know she was a vampire, if you had seen her on the street, you might think she was one. All of the individuals did what they needed to do, but it just felt like something in the story was missing, and ultimately just felt like the producers wanted to cash in on the success of the first film. But hey, if you like vampires and hate Robert Pattinson, this is head and shoulders above that Twilight bullshit.

 

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