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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    30 Days of Night

    Josh Hartnett finally has facial hair! As Sheriff Eben Oleson in the new vampire flick ’30 Days of Night,’ he was not allowed to shave for a month, but couldn’t grow more than a 7 o’clock shadow. Hey, it’s a start. And the same could be said for his career.

    Taking place in an isolated town north of the Arctic Circle, although filmed in New Zealand, ’30 Days of Night’ is an action movie that takes traditional formula characteristics to a quality better than other recent releases of the genre, not just because of its bigger budget and studio distribution.

    Despite some bad lines, there is more sympathy for the main characters than just being extremely vulnerable victims. Those who are irresponsible and extremely vulnerable are disposed of as soon as they make their cliche mistake. A man who goes outside to find the source of a strange noise is beheaded. An old man, literally mindless, who sneaks out of his hiding spot and is followed by his worried yelling son, are eaten.

    For ’30 Days,’ vampires are on a mission to kill every remaining person left in the town. Those who stood a chance of surviving were huddled in various hideouts across town, but were at risk every time they transferred.

    The two dozen vampires moved fast, howled into the wind, had long sharp teeth, spoke in their own language, revealed some of their collective history, and wore clothes reflecting their era of death. The lead vampire, of course, wore a black coat, but didn’t have to considering he could easily withstand sub-zero windchills. As for the humans, where were their earmuffs? How they realistically survived without good insulation or a heat source is simple movie magic: winter wear is of little importance.

    The director, David Slade, has mostly made music videos, especially for Godsmack, which is why the movie’s style is fast paced and receptive to the MTV generations. Each character had faced some threat, but the best was saved for last; the ending was slightly unexpected.’

    The script was light, allowing for there to be more action and reaction than conversation. The last thing any viewer could have wanted is for Eben and his wife Stella to discuss their marriage problems while fighting vampires. Certainly those annoying scenes have been done before.

    The cinematographer and editor did a great job at keeping a consistent pace and purpose objective for action. One of the coolest sequences was when a vampire silhouette is standing with ease a top of a 90 mph traveling on ice SUV with a twilight colored sky in the background.

    The weekend box office receipts declared ’30 Days of Night’ the number one movie. Being that next week is Halloween, go and make it a winner for a second week.

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