30 Days of Night
30 Days of Night is a 2007 Vampire film directed by David Slade and starring Josh Hartnett and Danny Huston.
The film is set in Barrow, Alaska, which the film quickly tells us is the northernmost town in the USA and as such has one month with no sunlight. During this period, most of the townsfolk leave for sunnier pastures.
But this year, things are different. First, a bunch of mobile phones turn up burned. Then all the sled dogs in town get brutally slaughtered. Then someone smashes up the only helicopter. When a tall, dark stranger walks into the diner and starts drawing attention to himself, Sheriff Eben Oleson (Hartnett) arrests him. But when the stranger starts talking about how "they" are coming, Oleson starts getting jumpy. Finding a man's head on a stake doesn't help calm him down.
When the circus comes to town, the sheriff and his estranged wife gather up a group of survivors and plan to survive the 30 days.
The film's portrayal of Vampires is interesting yet gripping. A film worth watching.
Also it's an adaptation of the first book from a graphic novel series of the same name, written by Steve Niles and illustrated by Ben Templesmith.
A direct-to-video sequel was released in 2010.
- Action Girl: Stella Oleson
- Adaptation Distillation: The film is very faithful to the story it is based on, with a few aspects altered or even added.
- An Axe to Grind
- Big Bad: Marlowe.
- Big Brother Instinct: Eben is very protective of his teenage brother, Jake.
- Could also apply as Big Sister Instinct to Stella, who protects Jake just as fiercely as her estranged husband does.
- Bittersweet Ending: Although some survive, the rest of the town (several hundred, if not thousands) was massacred, and the protagonist is a hunk of charcoal by the end as well.
- The actual population of the town is shown when Eben and a fellow officer are driving back to town: 152. It's implied that many of the residents head south to escape the winter dredge.
- Black Eyes of Evil: The vampires' eyes have wide, solid black irises covering almost the entire visible eye, which, along with their mouthful of sharp teeth, makes them look really sharklike and sociopathic.
- Black Speech: The vampires speak in an odd combination of words and animal-like sounds like hisses and screeches. When they want to signal others, they let out terrifying screams.
- Blood Bath: In the sequel.
- Chekhov's Gun: The large, grinding machine is constantly active throughout the movie for no real justifiable reason and, unsurprisingly, a vampire is thrown into it not long after the survivors reach the plant.
- Composite Character: Marlow in the film is a combination of the character of the same name from the comics and another Vampire called Vicente.
- Curb Stomp Battle: 30+ Vampires vs. Hundreds of Humans= Less than 20 Humans and 30 Vampires.
- Harbinger of Impending Doom: The Stranger.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Eben becomes a Vampire knowing full well it was the only way to successfully save Stella and fight off the Vampires, as well as the fact that he wouldn't be able to change back or control himself from not harming anyone for long. So, after the Vampires are leaderless and scared shitless he lets himself be turned to ash by the sun. Some view this as a Stupid Sacrifice, but really, there weren't many other options.
- I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: "Barrow" is a kind of tomb. And an actual town.
- Infant Immortality: One was (literally but temporarily). The others weren't.
- Large Ham: Ben Foster.
- Leave No Survivors: The standard practice of the vampires, so as to uphold The Masquerade.
- Mercy Kill: From Eben to Carter Davies. Carter, finding that he has slowly been turning into a vampire, asks it of Eben so he wouldn't live forever without his family, who died years ago. Eben obliges and does so offscreen. The scene is a Tear Jerker.
- The Night That Never Ends: A twisted version, vampires don't cause the absence of sun but they take advantage of the fact that it's naturally absent for the titular month.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown
- Off with His Head: Like most creatures, beheading is the surest way to kill these vampires. And it's neither clean nor easy to do.
- Our Vampires Are Different: Their ashen skin, solid black eyes and mouths full of small, sharp teeth make them look almost like sharks. This depiction is far more terrifying than the typical metrosexual bloodsucker.
- Pro-Human Transhuman: Eben.
- Promotion to Parent: Eben and Jake's parents are never mentioned, so it can be assumed that Eben shares custody and responsibility for Jake with their grandmother. However, once she is killed, Eben becomes this trope in full-force to his teenage brother.
- Race Lift: Not only are the paunchy, late-thirties, happily married main couple made buff, mid-twenties, and sexily divorced; the Native American Eben Olemaun becomes the white Eben Oleson.
- Shout-Out: The little girl vampire has a tattoo of Einsturzende Neubauten's logo. Since it's a fair assumption that she didn't get this before becoming a vampire, one can only assume vampires dig industrial krautrock.
- Shur Fine Guns: Billy can't shoot himself because the gun jams. Clearing weapons is never an option.
- Sound-Only Death: Thunk. Thunk. Thunk.
- Stock Scream: During the Taking Over the Town sequence, one man utters a Wilhelm when a vampire throws him off a roof.
- Super Window Jump
- Taking Over the Town: Several minutes are dedicated to showing this trope in action. The sequence is either really cool (the humans put up a legitimate but doomed fight), or utterly terrifying.
- Undead Child: One scene has the group fighting against an vampire girl. It takes all of them to restrain and kill her.
- Vampire Invitation: Averted, as demonstrated in the breaking-and-entering scene.
- Vampire Wannabe: The Stranger, who paves the way for the vampires by stealing and destroying the town's means of communication in exchange for being turned. They don't.
- Walking Backwards
- With Catlike Tread
- Your Head Asplode: When Eben punches out Marlow.
The comic provides examples of
- Exclusively Evil: Vampires, almost literally, with very few exceptions.
- Biblical Bad Guy: The main Big Bad in the second collection in the miniseries is named Lilith.
- Crapsack World: Vampires are a rampant epidemic who grow daily, in the universe of the comic, infesting just about every major city. And those in charge are trying to keep it a secret.
- Despair Event Horizon: Eben undergoes one after Stella's death.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Stella is accidentally killed with no fanfare whatsoever.
- Face Heel Turn: Eben is now a murderous, bloodthirsty monster.
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Kitchen sink may be stretching it, but in a universe full of vampires, a recent comic has also revealed the existence of a functional Golem, which possesses people by encasing them in living mud, as well as the fact that the 30 Days vamps seem to be involved in the Infestation crossover.
- Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: Played with in the comic 30 Days 'Til Death, where the elder vampires in Italy have simply had it with the younger generation and decides to kill them off. The vampire protagonist, Rufus, responds by deciding to hide among humans, ala his own personal masquerade. It doesn't work out well.
- Played straight however, in the comic 'Juarez or Lex Nova and the Case of The 400 Dead Mexican Girls,' with the titular Lex Nova, a Crazy Awesome vampire private eye who monologues to himself (aloud) and manages his blood habit by drinking from goats.
- Played straight as well with Eben and Stella, who by the end of their own comic, Eben and Stella have successfully reconciled their morality with being undead monsters, and become the protectors of Barrow.
- The term 'friendly neighborhood' can no longer be applied to Eben, given he just slaughtered the neighborhood. To the last man.
- Dane's a pretty nice guy as well. So's Billy.
- Gothic Punk
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: Discussed. In the second series, the protagonist asks one of the vampires why they seem to automatically become evil as soon as they're turned. He asks her how many people she knows who wouldn't if they actually had the power to pull it off.
- Masquerade: The vampires in the comic definitely seem to enforce their own version of it, as the leader of the vampires attacking Barrow in the original miniseries is killed by Vicente to uphold it. Also, the above mentioned elders in 30 Days of Death launch an attack on the vampires of America because they were breaking the masquerade.
- Our Vampires Are Different: They are almost invincible, though the measure of their invulnerabilities tends to vary. In one series they are capable of taking shotgun blasts to the face and having grenades go off on their heads, and in another, they die to decapitation. One consistent factor seems to be their vulnerability to UV light, which seems to vary, again with age. A vampire is killed in 30 Days of Death by being hurled out a window at sunset, while a far older vampire manages to run through the light before getting shot in the face. Of course, one newly made vampire in the original miniseries dies at the first light of dawn, and so fast that he doesn't even get a frame showing him burning.
- Also, one of the miniseries featuring a family of yuppies traveling to Barrow to see the original vampires instead find 'ancient vampires' who had adapted to the environment, and look insectlike and feed on regular vampires.
- Recycled in Space: 30 Days of Night: Dead Space.
- The Renfield: Agent Norris.
- Sliding Scale of Vampire Friendliness: Copious need for blood? Check. Morality shift? Check. Contagious? Very. A single crewman in Dead Space changes after a scratch. These guys are some of the most hostile vampires in fiction.
- Suicide by Sunlight
- Tainted Veins
- Transhuman Treachery: Almost everyone who is turned immediately begins chowing down on their best friends. Notable aversions include Eben, though he gets a bit worse, Lex Nova and Stella, though she still does kill a room service clerk in hunger.
- Weakened by the Light: Pretty much the only weakness of the vampires in this series. It's notable that vampires here are way more susceptible to sunlight than most, bursting into flames and dying with even minor exposure to the sun's rays and even UV lamps. This is kind of balanced, however, by their total immunity to basically every other form of attack.
- The Virus: Vampirism is portrayed as this later in the comics, with a single bite or scratch converting humans. Spreading the Disease is even about a vampire cult spreading vampirism via contaminated alcohol. Vampirism is at least somewhat supernatural, however, as dead vampires can be re-generated if blood is poured on their remains.
- Where's the Fun In That?
Denise: Neither of you are getting me alone. Neither!
Aaron: Ah! We share, right? None of us have to be greedy.
Gabe: Yeah, come on. We'll be good.
Aaron: Oh, you will? Where's the fun in that?
- No relation to that Dead Space, sadly.