30 Days of Night

30 Days of NightI finally got to see the movie 30 Days of Night last night. I thought it was a cool movie, but I was a little underwhelmed. I’m not sure what I expected from a movie that was heralded as “a bold re-imagining” of the vampire myth, but this movie fell short somehow. Like I said, I still liked the movie. But I went into it expecting more. Maybe because I was watching it with someone who said it had really creeped her out. I guess when compared with the Lestat variety of vampire, 30 Days of Night might be a bold re-imagining. But compared to Nosferatu? Oh, please. I agree with some of the reviews I’ve read that said that Hollywood had never really given the vampire a true treatment. If you read up on the mythology of vampires, they were nothing like Dracula, much less Lestat.
In all fairness, I think they touched upon the old vampire mythology in creating this movie. A vampire as an inhuman, lethal killing machine. What a concept. I guess I was only disappointed because it was done before. And done better. By cultures as ancient as the Mesopotamians, Ancient Greeks, and the Romans. I dunno. There’s something primal about our discomfort with the idea of the vampire that has never been put on screen.
I think maybe 30 Days of Night was a step in the right direction, but the movie had so many flaws that it was distracting. However beautiful the scenery and however cool the vampires, it was still obvious that this was a slick Hollywood production that was aimed at the blockbuster movie audience, not some bold artistic re-telling of the vampire myth.
Most of the fatal flaws to me were things that most people wouldn’t have noticed. Like one thing that bugged me and Victoria both. They’re in Barrow, Alaska, where it’s supposed to be dark for 30 days. The vampires have cut the power to the town and isolated the residents. So … where’s all this light coming from? For it to be pitch black and there to be no electricity, it sure was nice and well-lit. Maybe the movie would have been creepier if they had done it in near total darkness. Let the only sources of light come from the survivors themselves, and let things be moving on their periphery.
I know. Maybe I went into it expecting too much. Most likely, I wasn’t the target audience. I went into it hoping for more of a scary experience, but I think my perception of what’s scary is vastly different from the average person. The Ring scared the shit out of me, but didn’t faze my relatives who were into the whole slasher flick genre.
Maybe next time. For now, at least, in my opinion Nosferatu is still king of the vampires.

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