By Fred Topel | Image property of Columbia Pictures.
30 Days of Night
Saw IV has some serious competition this year. I say that with the utmost confidence that Saw IV will totally bring it, but 30 Days of Night does for vampires what Saw did for serial killers. It is Ghost House Pictures' first great film. Actually, it's their first good film but it's a great one.
Review: 30 Days of Night
It's The Bourne Ultimatum of horror movies. Taking a cue from the frantic style of Paul Greengrass, the action sequences capture the speed at which vampires attack and the finesse they use to kill. The heroes have to come up with some ingenious plans to thwart them and the film is full of wonderful, beautiful gore.
You never know if you're going to see bone sticking out or have a classy cutaway. David Slade varies the technique. At first you only see the monsters in flashes, which is standard because it works. But he does blow his wad in the best possible way when all hell breaks loose. The film follows through on the most horrific permutations of facing vampires, and each kill tells a story. When he delivers the money shot, it is sickly brilliant and twistedly clever. When he does not, it's classy.
These are the scariest vampires I've ever seen. They look monstrous, not sexy. They speak a guttural language and have unstoppable power. They make action scenes fun and deadly. These aren't the cute little vixens who show their boobies and tempt you. They don't even want to turn you. They'll cut your head off when they're done just to make sure you don't wake up competing for the next body.
This is the year of the intense character performances within genre pieces. After Kevin Bacon in Death Sentence, we have Josh Hartnett's most heroic performance ever. He's playing the procedural cop drama giving way to family crisis and deconstructing everything with the impossible choices he faces. Danny Huston plays the leader of the vampires like a child exploring every new thing thrown his way.
The relationship elements plays in the situation. Talk about wanting kids in a marriage is relevant, because if they had kids during this crisis, it would be an even greater dilemma.
It's also a survival movie, which I love. They have to find supplies. Time passes visually by way of growing facial hair. That makes all the stuff in between the kick-ass scenes exciting too.
Contrary to popular belief, I'm not a horror fan just for the sake of horror. I enjoy creativity and if a horror movie can do violence and creatures with a cool twist, I'm in. 30 Days of Night gives you everything.