FF 2010 Review: '30 Days of Night: Dark Days'


I was with the flick for a good twenty minutes.

The follow-up to the surprisingly solid 30 Days of Night (30 Days of Night: Dark Days) begins with a few signs of promise: the cast includes names like Kiele Sanchez, Diora Baird, and Mia Kirshner (gorgeous women all); the creator of the graphic novel source material, Steve Niles, is credited as co-screenwriter; and the prologue is really quite clever...


As the film opens we learn that the only survivor of the Alaskan vampire massacre that we all enjoyed in the first film is one Stella Oleson (Sanchez here, Melissa George in Part 1). Of course noboby believes her story of how Barrow was destroyed by a pack of ravenous (and very opportunistic) vampires, but Stella is about to deliver a very unique lecture. Let’s just say she “outs” some vampire spies in very clever fashion (but neglects to bring a camera), and is then forced to hide out in Los Angeles while the local vampires hunt and harass her.

From this point on, 30 Days of Night: Dark Days goes quickly downhill. What starts with a nifty gimmick promptly devolves into a 17th-generation Blade sequel that would probably feel more at home on the Syfy Channel than pulsing through your over-qualified blu-ray player. Although certainly not without a few merits (director Ben Ketai has done fine short films and could probably deliver a slam-bang horror film given a halfway-decent budget), this disappointing follow-up fails to capitalize on even the most obvious of options.

Namely ... the setting.

Despite the fact that Josh Hartnett and Melissa George are top-billed on the first 30 Days of Night, the star of that film is actually the premise: that if one night can last thirty days in Alaska, then wow that would be a real haven for a pack of clever vampires. It’s ridiculously juicy “hook,” and it’s one that probably attracted a few non-gorehounds to check out 30 Days of Night.

30 Days of NightA: Dark Days has .... none of that! No confined spaces, no extended periods of night, no sort of novel premise that a sequel to 30 Days of Night should defintely deliver. It’d be like Paramount doing a video sequel to The Ruins and forgetting to include the ruins. In place of the novel premise delivered in the first film, we’re offered a patently generic tale of unrealistic vampire hunters who aim to invade a local nest and kill the leader.

Never heard that one before.

The cast does what it can with the anemic material, and I did mention the obvious examples of overt feminine hotness on display here, but a low budget and even lower aspirations sink 30 Days of Night: Dark Days a lot quicker than its forgettable narrative does.