OVERALL: Compelling. I know I enjoyed it the first time and I found it very interesting. Different than other vampire/horror/action/adventure movies. Plus SNOW and COLD in Alaska!!!
POINTS: First: Great title! This movie is based on the graphic novel of the same name. It was very well received so I am not surprised it was made into a movie. Though I have not read the graphic novel, my feeling is it differs quite a bit from the movie. 30 Days of Night is not like other vampire movies (as stated above) in that it takes place in a small, isolated town. There is a lot to it that makes sense from the vampire POV and I like that. Plus the characters are interesting and so are the actors who play them. They are not made-up to be glamorous (though several are) but instead look like they are indeed people who live and work in the frozen north of Alaska.Did I mention compelling? I really mean it. The acting, direction, and look of the movie makes you feel like you are in the movie. I do get a sense of feeling the pain and joy of each character. I liked that very much and huzzah to everyone for pulling that off.
PITFALLS: SPOILERS – Well there are lots of times when I thought “Really?” The Really refers to people’s reactions at the beginning of the movie when they are setting up the vampire attack. At one point The Stranger comes to town and orders food. Now the Sheriff is there and he has just witnessed sled dogs being killed (isn’t that a hanging offense in Alaska), and random acts of vandalism around his town. This is extra odd because most of the population is leaving due to a month of no sunlight, hence the title 30 days of night. Now I would think that the Sheriff would a bit more eager to handcuff this guy, or at least take a big interest in him. When he physically grabs the waitress I’m surprised that the townsfolk didn’t all stand up and put The Stranger down. Now that is probably my thoughts on living in a small rural community and my thoughts may not be accurate. Though I have lived for a bit in a small rural community.
So I guess what I am trying to say here is that I would expect the Sheriff and other townspeople to be a bit more leery and nervous about all of the vandalism happening in the town when it is about to be surrounded in darkness. I would also think that people would be nervous when they found their cellphones being destroyed and the satellite tower being totaled as well. Granted the people of Alaska lived without electronic communication for a long time and thus would know how to handle not having contact with the outside world, but I still think there should have been a bigger reaction. Granted that might have upped the adrenaline charge of the movie to being afraid of something and thus, maybe, not make the vampires so scary. However I think that the movie makers could have handled it. Also, and I am probably reacting to this from my experiences in rural America, I am surprised more people didn’t get out their guns when the Sheriff told them to go to their homes and lock the doors. Guns were somewhat helpful against vampires in this movie and they would have been useful. I’m surprised more of the people didn’t get out their firearms and prepare to shoot any invaders – even if they weren’t prepared for vampires. (Are you ever? Well, ok, if you are a geek you are prepared.)
FEMALE CHARACTER(S): Well we do have the fabulous Stella who is a Fire Marshall (or so I think – she does something to help prevent fires) and she carries a gun and holds her own in the movie. She is practical, while being afraid, and even helps out Our Hero the Sheriff several times. She was a down to earth heroine. So were the rest of the women in the movie, I must add. Most of them, though scared and often reduced to screaming, did manage to act in a solid rational way when they needed to do so.There were also a few elderly women, i.e., they were past 40 and for Hollywood that is old, and they were cool and I liked that. I like to see all ages.
CULTURAL PITFALL(S): Lots of white people, but there were some people who might have had Alaska Native blood in them. We briefly saw some Alaska Natives in the beginning and that was nice. Would have enjoyed more. Then again my knowledge of racial diversity in northern Alaska towns is non-existent so this might be alas, quite accurate.
HIGH POINT(S): SPOILER – Watching Our Heroine hold Our Hero as he dies in her arms as the sun comes up. He has sacrificed himself to save his town and his loved ones by becoming a vampire. That way he was as strong as them and could fight and kill them. The actors played the scene perfectly. Plus as I felt such sorrow for them. I really felt that they were robbed of their victory because he had to die. Excellent ending scene; excellent death and I love you scene.Plus the vamps were GREAT! No sparkly, pretty vampires here! These were ugly, mean vampires who were on a hunt. They had patience and planned for their monthly feast. They even used a human to help them. Plus they were strong and nasty and hard to fight. Very cool. This added to the humans being extra vulnerable and needing to be careful.