Viewed – 28 May 2010 DVD
The vampire theme is everywhere right now, with TV shows like The Vampire Diaries and True Blood to movie franchises like the Twilight saga. So another tale of blood sucking fiends is not necessarily going to get me too excited. Yet I had heard some good things about this one, and always wanted to check it out.
Josh Hartnett is a Sheriff at a remote Alaskan town that every winter endures thirty days of total darkness. On this one occasion however, a group of vicious vampires decide to lay siege. Although many of the townsfolk choose to leave for the winter, a small group, including Josh’s estranged wife Melissa George are left to fight for survival until daylight arrives. This effective and stylish movie may offer nothing new to the vampire mythos, but makes up for a rather simplistic story with some good performances from its cast and a genuinely scary and brutal enemy. They are fast, and unrelenting, speaking in a creepy foreign accent (Romanian?) and have the appearance of otherworldly creatures with dark eyes and strange shaped heads, despite otherwise being human. I’m guessing the casting here was key to their look. My main gripe with this though is that with a concept of thirty days of vampire infestation, the passage of time is handled very unconvincingly and apart from random title cards saying how many days have passed, the movie otherwise feels like just one night of hell. Also the vampires are not at all explored for their motives or back story and so come across as nameless, one-dimensional monsters seen millions of times before.
Yet if taken simply as a gory, somewhat exciting popcorn experience, this still has plenty of personality, just a shame its lack of ambition or depth means it will be forgotten amongst a wealth of better movies.
Verdict: 3 /5