REVIEW: 30 DAYS OF NIGHT: DARK DAYS

CAST

Kiele Sanchez (The Purge: Anarchy)
Rhys Coiro (The Unborn)
Diora Baird (Transit)
Mia Kirshner (The Vampire Diaries)
Monique Ganderton (Smallville)
Harold Perrineau (Constantine)
Katharine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps)
Ben Cotton (Stargate: Atlantis)

Photography by Chris LargeA year after the Alaskan town of Barrow’s population was decimated by vampires during its annual month-long polar night, Stella Oleson (Kiele Sanchez) travels the world trying to convince others that vampires exist. She is fully aware of the risk to her life that her work could bring, but does not care due to her grief over the death of her husband, Eben.30-days-of-night-dark-days-01

Following instructions from a mysterious individual named Dane, she travels to Los Angeles to give a lecture on the existence of vampires. Aware that vampires are in attendance when she speaks, she activates overhead ultraviolet lamps that incinerate several of the vampires in the audience, in front of the humans. She is quickly arrested and harassed by Agent Norris, who she learns is one of the human followers of the vampires, charged with keeping their activities covered up. After her release from custody, she returns to her hotel to find Paul (Rhys Coiro), Amber (Diora Baird) and Todd (Harold Perrineau), sent by Dane to recruit her to hunt the vampire queen, Lilith. As Lilith is responsible for the vampires’ every move and for keeping them hidden, the hunters are convinced that once she is eliminated, the vampires will fall into dormancy. When Stella learns that Lilith was responsible for the slaughter at Barrow, she agrees to meet Dane (Ben Cotton), and is shocked to discover that he too is a vampire. Due to a superficially inflicted wound, he has maintained a grasp of humanity, only drinking blood from packaged hospital stocks he keeps. Stella hesitates to join a plan to attack a vampire nest, but Paul eventually convinces her, revealing that vampires were responsible for his daughter’s death and the resulting divorce from his wife.30-days-of-night-dark-days-ending-stella-oleson-blood-bath-kiele-sanchez

The following day, the four hunters enter a vampire nest, only to be ambushed by a group of them. During their attempt to flee, Todd is bitten. After the four lock themselves in a cellar, Todd turns into a vampire. When Paul hesitates to act against his friend, Stella kills him by smashing in his head with a cinder block. The trio decide to wait for nightfall, when the vampires leave to feed, in order to make their escape. After night falls, Dane comes and frees them. On their way out, they capture a vampire and interrogate him with the ultraviolet lamps, eventually following him back to another nest. They invade the nest and rescue Jennifer, a captive being used as a feeding station. Jennifer’s knowledge of Lilith’s lair being aboard a ship in the bay allows the hunters to plan an attack on Lilith directly. Returning to Dane’s place, Stella and Paul become intimate. Meanwhile, Lilith (Mia Kirshner) decides that Agent Norris should prove his worth to become a vampire (in order to cure the cancer he has been suffering from). He bites the neck of a captive girl, Stacey (Katharine Isabelle), drinking her blood until dead. Satisfied, Lilith turns him to hunt Stella and the others.maxresdefaultNorris kills Dane and the others flee with Jennifer to a boat yard where Jennifer points out the boat that the vampires are set to sail to Alaska in for another 30-day feeding period. After telling Jennifer to leave, the three hunters stow away on the ship where they discover that they can be resurrected after death if they are fed human blood. At gunpoint, they confront the human captain who says he is cooperating because the vampires had threatened his family. Amber is suddenly pulled away from behind, causing her gun to fire and kill the captain. Stella and Paul are too late to save her from being eaten and are quickly captured by Norris and Lilith who orders that they be bled dry. Stella manages to free herself when they are alone with Norris and kills him, but they are subsequently attacked by Lilith when attempting to sabotage the ship and Paul is killed. After being outmatched in hand-to-hand combat, Stella hides from Lilith and when the queen comes looking for her, Stella emerges from her tub of blood and manages to decapitate her. The other vampires appear, but seeing that she killed Lilith, they quietly stand aside and let her pass without a fight, and she returns to Barrow.VIwWP7lHvrIjAz_2_hd

Stella digs up Eben’s grave and recovers his body to feed him her own blood. It appears not to work and she lies down slowly dying from blood loss. After a time, she sees Eben has returned to his former health and she stands to greet him with a hug. As they embrace, Eben pulls back her shoulder and his sharp teeth come down on her neck before the screen goes dark.2826

Once the film moves past exposition and into bat country, “Dark Days” ramps up the fear factor, kicking off a series of encounters that take advantage of all the low-budget  Heavily armed and ready for a fight, our heroes proceed to blast their way into the vampire hive, creating a few hearty sequences of splattery chaos. Criminally, Ketai elects to mimic original director David Slade’s infuriating obsession with shaky-cam, slamming the camera and lights around to create a blizzard of violence.

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REVIEW: 30 DAYS OF NIGHT: BLOOD TRAILS

CAST

Trip Hope (The Human Race)
Tiffany Barrett (Zegapain)
Perry Cornelius (Walk By Faith)
Marilyn Johnson (Blue Midnight)
Brittney Kara (Roommates)

The series begins in New Orleans with a man named George covered in blood running towards a police officer who subdues and begins to arrest him when George ignores his commands to stop. 2 days earlier, George is going to see Judith for one last job. George is a recovering addict and he is hoping to use the money from the job to leave New Orleans and start a new life with his girlfriend Jenny. He goes to meet Eddie behind a bar, collect a CD and deliver it to Pat. Yet, when he arrives, Eddie has been attacked and the disc destroyed. Eddie, barely alive, uses his bloody finger to scrawl some letters and numbers on George’s forearm before he dies.

In the background, a vampire runs past George, who flees into the bar Eddie had come from. However, indoors he runs into his old dealer who wants payment for the drugs. George is then water tortured in the bathroom until the vampire kills the dealer. Not wanting to stay long, George runs to Pat’s apartment with the code. Pat sends the code to Cynthia in Los Angeles. Feeling that his job is done George heads back to his place. As Pat is about to hack into a website, he witnesses Cynthia on a webcam being beheaded by another vampire.

George returns to his apartment to find Jenny upset and in withdrawal. George feels he has been followed and hides with Jenny in the closet. A vampire has followed George to his apartment and now is looking for him. George uses a nailbat to attack and escape the vampire. Confused, they both run to see Pat, only to find him bleeding to death. He asks George to deliver a message to Judith and begs George to kill him. When he hesitates, Pat becomes a vampire, only to have Jenny behead him with a katana. Wanting answers, they head for Judith who tells them to take the message to Chad.

They arrive at Chad’s with the message. Written in a hidden code, Chad needs time to crack it. While waiting outside, George and Jenny talk about what they will do after Cynthia pays him. Suddenly, Jenny is pulled backward into a below-ground alley by a vampire. George follows and finds her bleeding and transforming into a vampire. She attacks him, and he is forced to kill Jenny with a length of pipe. He goes back into the building only to find a bloody stump of Chad’s arm, clutching a piece of paper on which the decoded message is written.

After reading the message, George runs into the street. We come back to when George is being arrested and discovers the message reveals the vampires’ plan – a “feeding” in Barrow, Alaska, which will take place the following night.

A great set of  webisodes, if you enjoy the comics, movie or an avid fan. Clearly 30 Days of Night Blood Tails is for you

 

REVIEW: 30 DAYS OF NIGHT

CAST

Josh Hartnett (The Faculty)
Melissa George (Triangle)
Danny Huston (The Kingdom)
Ben Foster (The Punisher)
Mark Boone Junior (Batman Begins)
Mark Rendall (Open House)
Amber Sainsbury (Hex)
Manu Bennett (Arrow)
Megan Franich (Alpha Planet)
Joel Tobeck (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Elizabeth Hawthorne (Filthy Rich)
Nathaniel Lees (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
Craig Hall (King Kong)
Andrew Stehlin (10, 000 BC)
John Rawls (The Blue Rose)
Jared Turner (The Almighty Johnsons)
Kelson Henderson (Power Rangers n inja Steel)
Pua Magasiva (Power Rangers Ninja Storm)
Kate Elliott (Power Rangers Samurai)

The town of Barrow, Alaska is preparing for its annual “30 Days of Night”, a period during the winter when there is a month-long polar night. As the town gets ready, a stranger (Ben Foster) rows ashore from a large ship and sabotages the town’s communications and transport to the outside world. Barrow’s sheriff, Eben Oleson (Josh Hartnett) investigates and also learns that his estranged wife, Stella (Melissa George), missed the last plane and must stay the 30 days. That night, a coven of feral vampires, led by Marlow (Danny Huston), attack and slaughter most of the townspeople, forcing Eben, Stella, Eben’s younger brother Jake (Mark Rendall), and several other survivors to take shelter in a boarded-up house with a hidden attic. Marlow finds the stranger locked up in the station. The stranger believed Marlow was going to turn him into a vampire. Marlow thanks him for doing what he asked, and then snaps his neck. Marlow ironically comments to his fellow vampires: “The things they believe.”Eighteen days later, when a blizzard hits, the group uses the whiteout to go to the general store for supplies, but are stranded after it ends. While the group heads for the station, Eben creates a diversion by having the vampires chase him to his grandmother’s house, where he uses one of her ultraviolet lights to burn the face of Marlow’s lover, Iris (Megan Franich), so badly that Marlow is forced to kill her. As he escapes, the town snow plow operator, Beau (Mark Boone Junior), creates another distraction with his tractor, killing many of the vampires, before trying to blow himself up; when he fails, Marlow crushes his head. Eben arrives at the station, where he is then forced to kill Carter (Nathaniel Lees), who has been bitten and is turning into a vampire.Two weeks later, Stella and Eben see the deputy, Billy (Manu Bennett), signaling them with a flashlight and bring him back to the station, after finding out he killed his family to save them from a more painful death. The trio find the others have made for the utilidor, a power and sewage treatment station that still has power, and head over there but are separated after Stella saves Gail Robbins (Rachel Maitland-Smith), a young girl whose family was slaughtered by a vampire named Zurial (John Rawls) who was stalking her. Eben and Billy make it to the utilidor but are attacked by Arvin (Andrew Stehlin), who bites Billy; Billy knocks Arvin into the heavy-duty shredder, before being killed by Eben because he is starting to turn.As the month comes to an end, with the sun due to rise, the vampires start to burn down the town to destroy evidence of their presence, and prevent any survivors from telling the world what happened. Realizing Stella is trapped and that he cannot beat the vampires in his current state, Eben turns himself into a vampire by injecting himself with Billy’s infected blood. He confronts Marlow, and they get into a vicious fight, before Marlow is finally killed by having a hole punched through his head, causing the remaining vampires to flee. Knowing he will die soon, Eben and Stella go off to watch the sunrise together, sharing one last kiss. As the sun comes up, Eben’s body burns to ash in Stella’s arms, while she stares at the sky, coming to grips with what has happened.For a movie that takes place almost completely in the dark, 30 Days Of Night is well shot. The snowbound settings and claustrophobic interiors instantly conjure up memories of Carpenter’s The Thing but the similarities are really only superficial.