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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Reviews    Movie, Television and DVD Reviews  ›  30 Days Of Night Moderators: Nixon
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  Author    30 Days Of Night  (currently 3373 views)
The boy who could fly
Posted: October 23rd, 2007, 4:45pm Report to Moderator
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30 days of night was exactly the movie I was hoping it would be, a somber, claustrophobic nightmare.

The story, I think, everyone knows, a small town in Alaska is over run by vampires during a 30 day stretch of darkness, and the movie delivers on that premise.

What I loved about the film is the slow set up and how the vampires plan on overtaking the town.  First a stranger arrives, brilliantly played by Ben Foster who is know in the same league as Christopher Walken in the creepy guy category.  After his frighting roles in Hostage, Alpha Dog and 3:10 To Yuma, he plays a man, sent by the vampires, to sabotage any means of help this town could get from the outside world.  First he steals cell phones, then kills all the dogs that are used for dog sleds.  The vampires themselves take care of the communication center and the power.  I loved how the movie set this up, the vampires thought their plan through.  Now there is no communication, no power, and no way out of town.

Then the first attack comes which is beautifully filmed from a birds eye view shot.  We see the vampires attack the citizens of the town from far above, all we see are dots on a white background, but the splashes of red let us know what is going on.  All this happens in day one.

Most of the movie is about 10 or so survivors who hide out and try to figure out how to stay alive for the next 30 days, that's the plot.  This movie reminded me of a cross between the Thing and insomnia, it isn't the MTV style horror fi;ms that have come out lately, but more slow paced and haunting,

I was surprised how Good Josh Hartnett was, I am not one of his biggest fans, but he pulled off his role here quite well, the choices that he makes in the film are not what the Genre usually calls for.  But Ben foster steals the show in one of the years creepiest performances, it is hard for almost any actor, maybe next to Walken or Depp to keep up with him.  His scenes are just great to watch.

The main Vampire played by Danny Huston, is a great villain, he has maybe one line of English in the entire film, but he creates a very scary and plausible villain.

The movie of course has a show down between Josh Hartnett and Danny Huston, but it is not what you would expect, the choice made by the hero is not what you would see in a lot of Hollywood films.

The film was made by David Slade, who directed the disturbing film Hard Candy, here he shows how to take independent film making and add that style to a larger budget, this ain't a huge budget film, more medium, but it shows what lack of money can add to a horror film.

Anyways, if you like the old John Carpenter films and have a strong stomach, this is the best scary movie I think you will get this holiday season.



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Zombie Sean
Posted: October 23rd, 2007, 5:02pm Report to Moderator
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This movie was really good. Unlike the acting. I'm afraid that all the actors were terrible and I didn't feel for any of them whatsoever (except for the girl that the main vampire said "No God" to). Even though it was about 2 hours long or so, I wish they went into more depth with the characters instead of going right to the danger at the beginning of the film. Then I probably would have felt a little bad for Josh's character at the end.

I have to admit, though, that the bird's eye view angle of the town going down by the vampires was pretty creepy. It was weird because there was little music (sinister music) and you could hear everyone screaming and everything. The whole attack on all the villagers reminded me of a zombie movie. Possible because the vampires sounded like birds.

The vampires were cool, but I didn't really like them most of the time. Not because they killed a lot of people, but because they didn't seem too creepy. I like vampire movies that follow by the rules. These vampires didn't cover their faces whenever the whole town was set on fire. They didn't poof into thin air whenever they needed to escape. Hell, you don't even know if they were true vampires since there weren't any crosses to test and see if you could keep them back. It just wasn't as...mysterious as the normal vampire would be.

Now, the gore was top notch. I especially liked Billy's death. That was just amazing and so drawn out. I was like, "YES!" So that's a plus.

Over all, it was a good movie. I just wish they got better actors because that just totally ruined it for me, and, to be honest with you, I don't think I'll be buying this movie.

Sean


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Dr. McPhearson
Posted: November 12th, 2007, 1:55pm Report to Moderator
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If you read my review posted on the SimplyScripts website, you'll see that, yes, I agree... this film could have been great. It had the potential. Unfortunately, from what I saw on the screen, the script for the film seemed determined to take out all forms of originality featured in the graphic novels, and instead just made it's plot points cliche and conventional, with the monsters (in this case, the vampires) coming out to the middle of nowhere, across thousands of miles of nothingness.

In the end, I was expecting a great film, and got one that turned out to be 'nothing special'. Everyone involved (at least, behind the camera) no doubt has talent... their used method of adaptation, however, sort-of ruined it for me.


PLEASE review my first SimplyScripts submission....

Re-Right (short comedy)
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Death Monkey
Posted: November 27th, 2007, 6:23pm Report to Moderator
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This was the best vampire film I've seen in ten years.

Just awesiome craftsmansip in everything from music, to cinematography and editing. This was really the triumph for the people behind the camera.

I loved the slow build-up as well, and the omens of the vampires' coming. Ben Foster and Danny huston were great whereas most of the other actors mere more or less unspectacular. Josh Hartnett did okay in my book.

I completely disagree with Sean about the vampires. I thought they were absolutely amazing. Also I don't know what rules they were supposed to follow, since every vampire movie has a line of dialogue that goes like this:

HERO
Forget what you've seen in the movies. Garlic/crosses/sunlight/stakes/silver does nothing. The only way to kill them is by _______________.

There is no set lore on vampires. No specific way they die. That's what so interesting about them. They are open to interpretation. They fly in The Lost Boys and Salem's Lot. They drink wine and wear flanel shirts in Anne Rice novels. They make nasty faces and incenerate in Buffy. They explode in the sun's rays in From Dusk till Dawn, while they just catch fire in Blade and John Carpenter's Vampires.

The incubation time varies as well, as does the way you get infected. In some movies and books you only need to be bitten, whilst in others you need drink vampire's blood first. And I won't even get into the entire bat thing or whether or not they have a reflection.

So really, you can't really talk about right or wrong vampires, only different interpretations. I, for one, welcome some originality in the genre, and the return to the animalistic Vampire, instead of the sissy, misunderstood kind who dresses like a goth teenager and knows kung-fu...

And give Danny Huston an award already.


"The Flux capacitor. It's what makes time travel possible."

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Old Time Wesley
Posted: March 3rd, 2008, 5:01pm Report to Moderator
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The best part about this film is that the vampires were treated as something BIG instead of just stab die stab die. We (Humas) become the victims here and they take it to the extreme pretty much killing off a lot of humans and very few vampires.

I think they killed between 3 - 5 vampires.

The girl that Eben kills with the florescent lights is a creepy looking girl and her face is shaped as such that she stands out onscreen. She will never be a leading lady but she does stand out.

This is the way Vampires should be portrayed not throwaway easy to kill weak beings like in Buffy or Blade.

The only thing that threw me off was Eben becoming a Vampire and The little kid vampire. I'm sorry but those are a little bit too much of a horror cliche.

This film is in no way scary by the way but it is a great adventure.


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MacDuff
Posted: March 3rd, 2008, 6:40pm Report to Moderator
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SPOILERS

It's been a few months since I watched the movie, but from what I remember, I was slightly disappointed with the climax and ending. A great premise, pretty solid execution, but I felt a little empty at the end.

I thought the build up was great. The tone and feel of the movie fit the script and characters portrayed and when the action happened it was fast and gruesome. You really felt the human population was in danger.

I haven't read the graphic novel, but I did not like Eben (?) becoming a vampire and dueling it out. It felt forced for the sake of completing his character arc.

Also - I felt there were time jumps that did not feel smooth and I felt the little girl that turned up in the 3rd Act was there for the purpose of character development. It felt a little contrived.

I was also shocked with the scene in the grocery store. It's not too often a child is killed on screen expecially such a gruesome death.

Overall, I'd give it 3.5/5

Stew


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sniper
Posted: March 4th, 2008, 2:43am Report to Moderator
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I saw this movie last week and boy did it suck!

It started off quite good though, the first act build up the suspense just right but once it hit the second act it just spiraled downward at supersonic speed. Crash and burn.

The editing (the time shifts) was the primary reason why this movie lost it all, it was done very slobby in a way that forced the story forward like it was being stuffed down my throat. It seemed so unbelievable that after 29 days of night that a little girl would simply just... walk down the street. These vampires (or what ever the hell they were) came across as very stupid. I mean they had a month to search maybe twenty houses - at most - and they still couldn't find jackshit.

The third act (Hartnett's big hero moment) was so overly contrived that it just reeked "I'm outta ideas!"

A gotta big laugh though when the big guy (I think his name was Beau) dropped a lit stick of dynamite into a whole box of dynamite sticks. I thought, "Yeah! Gimme that explosion baby!". And it was like "poof". I mean, the Mythbusters makes bigger explosions than that - on a bad day


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Death Monkey
Posted: March 4th, 2008, 6:56am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from sniper
I saw this movie last week and boy did it suck!

It started off quite good though, the first act build up the suspense just right but once it hit the second act it just spiraled downward at supersonic speed. Crash and burn.

The editing (the time shifts) was the primary reason why this movie lost it all, it was done very slobby in a way that forced the story forward like it was being stuffed down my throat. It seemed so unbelievable that after 29 days of night that a little girl would simply just... walk down the street. These vampires (or what ever the hell they were) came across as very stupid. I mean they had a month to search maybe twenty houses - at most - and they still couldn't find jackshit.

The third act (Hartnett's big hero moment) was so overly contrived that it just reeked "I'm outta ideas!"

A gotta big laugh though when the big guy (I think his name was Beau) dropped a lit stick of dynamite into a whole box of dynamite sticks. I thought, "Yeah! Gimme that explosion baby!". And it was like "poof". I mean, the Mythbusters makes bigger explosions than that - on a bad day


The town housed 4000 people, but most went away for the winter. So there were more than 20 houses to search. Math tells us it's probably closer to 1000 if a house averages 4 people.

The one thing I do agree with you about is the pacing and the dynamite, but everything else was just amazing, IMO. And the gore. Wow. best I've seen in a while.


"The Flux capacitor. It's what makes time travel possible."

The Mute (short)
The Pool (short)
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sniper
Posted: March 4th, 2008, 8:23am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Death Monkey
The town housed 4000 people, but most went away for the winter. So there were more than 20 houses to search. Math tells us it's probably closer to 1000 if a house averages 4 people.

Well, they sure hid those houses well.


Down in the hole / Jesus tries to crack a smile / Beneath another shovel load
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Death Monkey
Posted: March 4th, 2008, 8:51am Report to Moderator
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Obviously they didn't build a town of a thousand houses for the movie but I think it's unfair to say there were only 20. The town wasn't that dense, it was spread out. I wasn't bothered.

Anyway the point being that your beef is with the set department, not the intelligence of the vampires.


"The Flux capacitor. It's what makes time travel possible."

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mikep
Posted: March 4th, 2008, 9:04am Report to Moderator
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The only thing that didn't work that well for me was the passage of time, it just didn't feel that 30 days had passed, aside from Hartnett growing a beard. In reality, you have a two hour film and there's not much more you can do to effectively show a month passing, given a long set up and long climax, but the burn ins "Day 17" "day 25" just seemed arbitrary,

Otherwise, hands down it's the best vampire tale I've seen in....ages...what was the last good vampire movie, I Am Legend? Oh, no wait...that's right, those geniuses dropped vampires from that movie.

What really struck me was the feeling of dread, that impending doom that built up quite nicely in the first half hour. Ben Foster's character was very well done, and I don't think he was needed any more actually. And once the vampires appeared....DAMN...they were creepy as hell. Feral, wild creatures.  Anne Rice has done so much damage to vampire lore - vampires are NOT lonely soulful creatures...or rock stars...all she's really done is open a floodgate for "romantic vampires" over the past 25 + years.  THIS is a great step back to showing these creatures as they should be seen, as monsters with no soul, who see US as food, nothing more.

The gore, in a few shots was over the top, but it didn't take the story over. I don't see any problem with the ending, really. It's a nice ending and a nice way to complete his character.

After all...given the crap that passes for horror movies these days...garbage like Eli Roth, or Rob Zombie's hoplessly awful & insulting work, ENDLESS remakes of Japanese horror and HOW MANY MORE TIMES can we see a pre-teen girl with pale skin and black,wet,stringy hair and think..."ooh scary".... this was a well done horror movie.


13 feature scripts, 2 short subjects. One sale, 4 options. Nothing filmed. Damn.

Currently rewriting another writer's SciFi script for an indie producer in L.A.
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