By Owen Gleiberman
October 17, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT
Kirsty Griffin

Forget the weary, bedraggled victims — even the undead look like they’re pining for a good long nap in 30 Days of Night. Adapted from a horror comic so bloody it gives new meaning to the term graphic novel, this soporific splatterfest is set in an Alaska oil town during the month of no sun, which means, in essence, that it’s a fright film that takes place entirely at night (what a revolutionary new concept!). You do have to give it this, though: The extended time period is vividly conveyed, since the movie itself feels about a month long.

The monsters are shrieky, flesh-ripping zombie vampires outfitted with what appear to be entire mouthfuls of incisors. They’re commanded by a tall, brooding, and rather natty scowler (Danny Huston) who bears a disquieting resemblance to Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys. Speaking in a subtitled guttural rasp that makes him sound like he just popped in from an obscure European film festival, this nightmare dandy growls out lines like ”There is no hope, only hunger and pain.” His name is Marlow, but they should have called him Jean-Paul Face-Chomper.

As the sheriff who leads the besieged townsfolk, Josh Hartnett looks as if he’s about to cry. He and the others finally figure out that you can destroy the vampires by lopping off their heads with an ax, a method that in this movie tends to require more than one good clean whack. You can expect a lot of shredding and gurgling. 30 Days of Night is relentless, but it’s also relentlessly one-note. D

type
  • Movie
mpaa
  • R
runtime
  • 108 minutes
director
  • David Slade
Cast
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