30 Days of Night (film)

30 Days of Night (film)

Infobox Film
name = 30 Days of Night

caption = Teaser poster
director = David Slade
producer = Sam Raimi
Ted Adams
writer = Steve Niles
Stuart Beattie
starring = Josh Hartnett
Melissa George
Danny Huston
Ben Foster
Mark Boone Junior
Mark Rendall
music = Brian Reitzell
cinematography = Jo Willems
editing = Art Jones
distributor = Columbia Pictures
released = October 19, 2007
runtime = 113 min.
country = USA
language = English
budget = $32 million
gross = $70,806,224
website = http://www.30daysofnight.com/
preceded_by = ""
followed_by =
amg_id = 1:335403
imdb_id = 0389722

"30 Days of Night" is a 2007 horror film based on the comic book miniseries of the same name. The film is directed by David Slade and stars Josh Hartnett, Melissa George and Danny Huston. The film was released in the U.S. on October 19, 2007, and November 1, 2007, in the UK by Columbia Pictures.


Barrow, Alaska, is preparing for its annual "30 days of night," a period during the winter when the sun will not be seen: some inhabitants leave for Fairbanks or other parts south. As the town gets ready, the Stranger (Ben Foster) rows ashore from a large ship and once in Barrow, he sets about sabotaging the town in the belief that the vampires will make him one of them if he helps them with their plans.

Barrow's sheriff, Eben Oleson (Josh Hartnett) investigates these crimes. As he does so, he learns that his estranged wife, Stella Oleson (Melissa George), missed the last plane out of town and will have to spend the 30 day period in Barrow. Although they try to avoid one another, when Eben confronts the Stranger in the town diner, she helps subdue him and take him to the station house.

From the jail cell, the Stranger taunts Eben, Stella, Eben's teenage brother, Jake (Mark Rendall) and grandmother, telling them that death is coming for them. Just then, vampires attack the local telecommunications center and power supply, rendering the town dark and cut off from the outside world. Eben goes to the telecommunications center and finds the operator's head on a spike. He and Stella then go through town, trying to find the ones responsible for the gruesome crimes.

Meanwhile, the vampires, led by Marlow (Danny Huston) attack the town. The vampires speak in an ancient, guttural language, clarified by subtitles. Unless they are shot in the head, bullets are useless against them, and they slaughter most of the town, including Eben's grandmother, while the survivors congregate in the diner. The vampires attack Eben and Stella but Beau Brower (Mark Boone Junior), the local snowplow driver, rescues them. Everyone decides to go to the boarded up house of someone who had left town earlier that day. The house has a hidden attic where they will be able to hide. Marlow finds the Stranger in the jail and, rather than turning him into a vampire as the Stranger wished, kills him instead. Marlow orders the vampires not to turn anyone into a vampire; they will slaughter the town and then disappear in order to preserve modern humanity's belief that vampires are the stuff of bad dreams and nothing more.

Over the next week, Eben, Stella, Jake and seven others stick it out in the attic. They fight about leaving but most stay; only Wilson and his senile father, Isaac are lost. Eben ventures out to try to help a stray survivor, being used by the vampires as bait for any other survivors. During his attempt, he finds John Riis, in the crawlspace under a building and attempts to help him. He discovers however that he had become a vampire, and ends up killing him. He then learns that beheading the vampires will kill them.

When a blizzard hits, Eben and the others use the whiteout conditions to make it to the general store. There, a young girl vampire attacks and wounds one of them. The whiteout conditions end, preventing them from making it back to the abandoned house under cover. Eben decides everyone should go to the police station. He will provide a diversion by running to his grandmother's house to retrieve an ultraviolet lighting system. Eben makes it to the house, turns on the generator and turns the light on the vampires who have followed him. It hideously burns a female vampire named Iris, forcing Marlow to kill her. Eben escapes the house followed by the vampires. Beau comes to the rescue, killing many of the vampires with his backhoe. He crashes into a hotel and then ignites a box of dynamite using road flares, trying to kill himself. His ploy is unsuccessful though as Beau lives through the blast and Marlow crushes his skull, but it gives Eben the time to make it to the police station. There, the wounded member, Carter Davies (Nathaniel Lees) turns into a vampire. With some shred of his humanity left, he asks Eben to behead him. Eben complies.

Two more weeks pass. Stella and Eben find his deputy, Billy Kitka (Manu Bennett), signaling them with a flashlight from across the street. Eben and Stella make it to Billy's house. When the vampires attacked, he killed his wife and daughters but his gun jammed when he tried to commit suicide. Stella and Eben take him back to the station house. There they learn that the others have made it to the utilidor, a power station that controls the oil pipeline, the only structure that still has power. Eben, Stella and Billy begin to sneak towards the utilidor. Stella stops to rescue a young girl, Gail Robbins, who is being stalked by a vampire, Zurial (John Rawls). Eben and Billy try to distract him while Stella gets the girl to safety. Instead, Billy and Eben are separated. They both eventually make it to the utilidor, but another vampire follows Billy inside.

Eben is happy to see the rest of the survivors have made it alive. The vampire attacks Billy, ripping into his neck and dazing him. When the vampire turns to attack Eben, Billy gets up and knocks it into the gears of the utilidor's pump, shredding the creature. Billy's arm gets caught in the gears as well and his entire forearm is completely gone. Billy screams in pain as Eben tries to calm him down. Eben then realizes that Billy's screams become vampiric shrieks. Eben is then forced to kill Billy with an axe, by chopping off his head.

The sun is due to rise in a few hours. The vampires decide to burn the town to cover their tracks. Stella radios to Eben that she and the young girl are hiding under an abandoned truck across the street from the utilidor, the flames rapidly approaching them. Realizing he cannot beat the vampires as a human, Eben injects himself with Billy's infected blood so he can fight them as a vampire. He and Marlow fight a vicious battle. As the battle comes to a close, Marlow charges Eben as Eben throws a punch. The punch, empowered by Eben's vampiric super-strength, runs through Marlow's mouth and out the back of his head, killing him. Leaderless, with the sun about to rise, the other vampires disappear.

Eben and Stella watch the sunrise together. While Stella rests on Eben's shoulder, they share one last kiss. Stella holds Eben tightly in her arms as he lets out a bloodcurdling scream. His body slowly burns until there is nothing left but ash. The end of the film is marked as Stella closes her eyes, cradling Eben's ashen corpse.


Following the publication of the "30 Days of Night" comic book miniseries in 2002, studios, including DreamWorks, MGM and Senator International, bid in the $1 million range for rights to a potential vampire film based on the story. Director and producer Sam Raimi expressed interest in adapting the miniseries and was negotiating a production deal with his producing partner Robert Tapert to establish a label with Senator Entertainment, of which Senator International is the sales division. [cite news | url=http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue274/news.html | title=Raimi Mulls "30 Days" | publisher=Sci Fi Wire | date=2002-07-15 | accessdate=2006-10-13 ] In July 2002, Senator International acquired the rights for "30 Days of Night" in a seven figure deal with Raimi and Tapert attached as producers. "30 Days of Night" author Steve Niles originally conceived of the story in the form of a film but after meeting a lack of interest in initial pitches to studios, Niles was able to produce it as a comic with Ben Templesmith deciding to collaborate on the project and provide artwork. When Niles and his agent, Jon Levin, shopped the comic around as a potential film adaptation, Niles found that the idea "went shockingly well," with Sam Raimi and Senator International picking up the property rights based on the original concept and Templesmith's unique mood and concepts for the vampires. [cite news | author=SCI FI Wire | url=http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/index.php?category=3&id=42890 | title=30 Days grabbed Raimi's Eye | publisher=SCI FI Wire | date=2007-07-30 | accessdate=2007-07-30 ] According to Raimi, the potential project was "unlike the horror films of recent years". [cite news | author=Jonah Weiland | url=http://www.comicbookresources.com/news/newsitem.cgi?id=1313 | title=Niles Looks Forward to At Least '30 Days' of Screen Time | publisher=Comic Book Resources | date=2002-07-22 | accessdate=2006-10-13 ]

By October 2002, Niles was working on adapting "30 Days of Night" for the big screen, keeping the film true to the miniseries, though fleshing out the characters more significantly in the adaptation process. [cite news | author=Ace MacDonald | url=http://www.comicon.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php/ubb/get_topic/f/36/t/000265/p/1.html | title=Horror is October Month | publisher=Comicon.com | date=2002-10-14 | accessdate=2006-10-13 ] In February 2003, Columbia Pictures partnered with Senator International to work on "30 Days of Night", which was developing under Senator internationals newly-established production company, Ghost House Pictures. Mike Richardson, the Dark Horse Comics publisher who supported the adaptation project from the beginning, after having turned down an offer to initially publish the project, was attached as executive producer. [cite news | url=http://ghosthousepictures.comingsoon.net/news_article.php?articleid=3 | title=Columbia Acquires "30 Days of Night" | publisher=Ghost House Pictures | date=2003-02-27 | accessdate=2006-10-13 ] The following March, Richardson revealed that Steve Niles had turned in the initial draft for the "30 Days of Night" screenplay. [cite news | author=Jonah Weiland | url=http://www.comicbookresources.com/news/newsitem.cgi?id=2077 | title=Dark Horse's Mike Richardson Talks Comic Book Movies | publisher=Comic Book Resources | date=2003-03-31 | accessdate=2006-10-13 ] In March 2004, however, Columbia Pictures requested that Niles's initial screenplay to be rewritten in preparation for production. Sue Binder, the business manager of Ghost House Pictures, indicated that filming for "30 Days of Night" was still at least a year away, as Ghost House planned to produce three films before the vampire thriller.cite news | author=Kyle Hopkins | url=http://www.anchoragepress.com/archives-2004/featurevol13ed8.shtml | title=Bloodthirsty in Barrow | publisher=Anchorage Press | date=2004-03-03 | accessdate=2006-10-13 ] The following May, Stuart Beattie, one of the writers for "", was rewriting Niles's "30 Days of Night" draft for production. [cite news | url=http://www.comicbookresources.com/news/newsitem.cgi?id=4058 | title=Steve Niles Talks Movies | publisher=Comic Continuum | date=2004-05-04 | accessdate=2006-10-13 ] Niles was pleased with Beattie's faithfully rewritten script, which was submitted to the studio in October 2004. [cite news | url=http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/art-main.html?2004-10/13/13.00.film | title="30 Days" Moves Forward | publisher=Sci Fi Wire | date=2004-10-13 | accessdate=2006-10-13 ]

In September 2005, it was announced that director David Slade had signed on to "30 Days of Night", which would be distributed by Columbia Pictures mainly in North America and Mandate Pictures in international territories. [cite news | author=Tatiana Siegel | url=http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr/film/brief_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1001055590 | publisher="The Hollywood Reporter" | title=Slade has eyes for Col's 'Night' | date=2005-09-07 | accessdate=2006-10-13 ] In March 2006, Slade revealed that screenwriter Brian Nelson, who wrote the screenplay for Slade's previous film "Hard Candy", was writing a new draft of the "30 Days of Night" script, replacing Beattie's draft.cite news | author=Edward Douglas | url=http://www.superherohype.com/news.php?id=4019 | title=David Slade on "30 Days of Night" | publisher=SuperHeroHype.com | date=2006-03-24 | accessdate=2006-10-13 ] The director said that filming would begin in summer 2006 in Alaska and New Zealand.

In June 2006, it was announced that Josh Hartnett was cast as the husband of the married couple that serves as the town's sheriff team. [cite news | url=http://ghosthousepictures.comingsoon.net/news_article.php?articleid=24 | title=Hartnett in Flight with Sony 'Night' | date=2006-06-15 | accessdate=2006-10-13 ] Melissa George joined the "30 Days of Night" cast as the wife of Hartnett's character. [cite web | url=http://www.melissageorge.co.uk/films/30daysof.htm | title=30 Days of Night, Melissa George and Josh Hartnett | publisher=MelissaGeorge.co.uk | date=2006-07-31 | accessdate=2006-10-13 ] Danny Huston joined the cast as the leader of the vampires. [cite news | author=Borys Kit | url=http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr/film/brief_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003119773 | title='Night' dawns for Huston in Col horror pic | publisher="The Hollywood Reporter" | date=2006-09-11 | accessdate=2006-10-13 ] Filming did not begin immediately, but in a September 2006 interview, executive producer Mike Richardson said that "30 Days of Night" would be shot on 35 mm film, though there had been discussion to shoot the film on Genesis. [cite news | author=Robert Sanchez | url=http://www.iesb.net/index.php?option=com_d4j_ezine&task=read&page=1&category=featured&article=429&Itemid=27 | title=Exclusive Interview: Part II With Dark Horse's Mike Richardson | publisher=IESB.net | date=2006-09-28 | accessdate=2006-10-13 ] In an interview prior to filming, Slade explained that the illustrations of the graphic novel's illustrator, Ben Templesmith, would be reflected in production design. Slade also considered Nelson's draft to be the most faithful to the graphic novel. He also stated his intention to make a "scary vampire film", of which he didn't think there were many. "The rest of them, they fall into all kinds of traps. We're going to try to do our best... and one of the ways we have to do it is be more naturalistic than the graphic novel, because it's very over-the-top," said Slade. [cite news | author=Daniel Fienberg | url=http://www.zap2it.com/movies/news/zap-slade30daysofnight,0,7581795.story?coll=zap-news-headlines | title='Candy' Director Prepares for '30 Days of Night' | publisher=Zap2it.com | date=2006-04-13 | accessdate=2006-10-13 ]

By February 2007, the production phase was completed, and a rough cut of the film was prepared. [cite news | author=Andy Khouri | url=http://www.comicbookresources.com/news/newsitem.cgi?id=9793 | title=NYCC, DAY 2: MYSPACE MYSTERY PANELISTS REVEALED! | publisher=Comic Book Resources | date=2007-02-24 | accessdate=2007-04-06 ] In April, composer Brian Reitzell was hired to score the film. [cite news | author= |url=http://www.filmmusicweekly.com/issues/FMW_Current.pdf | title=Brian Reitzell: 30 Days of Night | publisher=Film Music Weekly | date=2007-04-03 | accessdate=2007-04-10 ]

Differences from the real Barrow

*The number of dark days in Barrow, Alaska, is 67 rather than 30.
*The polar night is not characterized by a plunge into and out of total darkness, as suggested by the film; rather a period of bright twilight exists during the midday hours except close to the winter solstice.
*Barrow is not isolated without outside contact while the sun is down as portrayed in the film, but in fact has daily commercial 737 airline service from other cities in Alaska [cite web|url=http://www.alaskaair.com/ |title=Alaska Airlines / Horizon Air |accessdate=2008-01-18 ] even during the depths of winter. That fact has been noted in a number of sources, including the comic, by AP movie reviewer David Germain [cite news |first=David |last=Germain |coauthors= |title=‘30 Days of Night’ feels about that long |date=2007-10-18 |publisher=Associated Press |url=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21335439 |work=Associated Press |accessdate=2008-01-18] , and others [cite news |first=Amy |last=Biancolli |coauthors= |title=Lovely gothic carnage |date=2007-10-18 |publisher=Hearst Corporation |url=http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ent/movies/reviews/5196704.html |work=Houston Chronicle |accessdate=2008-01-18] .
*Inupiat people make up 60% of the town, contrasting sharply with the film which presented the town with a largely white population. [cite news |first=Jad |last=Mouawad |coauthors= |title=In Alaska’s Far North, Two Cultures Collide |date=2007-12-04 |publisher= |url=http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/04/business/04alaskaoil.html |work=New York Times |accessdate=2008-01-18 |language=English]
*There is no Sheriff department in Alaska, but there is a Police department.
*Barrow's population is more than 4000, a far cry from the 500 depicted in the movie.


Box office release

"30 Days of Night" was released in 2,855 theaters in the United States and Canada on October 19 2007. In its opening weekend, the film grossed $15,951,902,cite web | url=http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=30DaysofNight.htm | title=30 Days of Night (2007) | publisher=Box Office Mojo | accessdate=2007-10-25 ] placing first in the box office. [cite news | author=Pamela McClintock | url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117974430.html?categoryid=13&cs=1 | title=Audiences sink teeth into 'Night' | publisher="Variety" | date=2007-10-21 | accessdate=2007-10-21 ] As of November 18th 2007, "30 Days of Night" has grossed $39,141,000 in the United States and Canada and $10,986,792 overseas. It has grossed $70,806,224 worldwide.


On Rotten Tomatoes, 60% of the 143 film critics gave the film positive reviews. [cite web |url=http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/30_days_of_night/ |title=30 Days of Night (2007) |publisher=Rotten Tomatoes |accessdate=2007-10-25 ] On Metacritic, the film received a metascore of 53 out of 100 from 29 reviews, considered to be mixed or average reviews.Fact|date=July 2008 Both of these ratings are considered to be much better than typical horror movies.Dubious|date=September 2008 Film site Bloody Disgusting called it the "best vampire film in decades." [cite web |url=http://youtube.com/watch?v=pvFDOs4Km4U |title=30 Days of Night (2007) |publisher=YouTube |accessdate=2007-11-12 ]

DVD release

"30 Days of Night" was released February 26 2008 on DVD, Blu-Ray, and UMD for PSP in the United States. The DVD is a single disc and includes 8 featurettes, one of which is a full episode of the hit anime "Blood+". The UK Region 2 release is a two disc special edition, released in April 2008. Despite being exactly the same as the theatrical release, the BBFC re-rated the film from a 15 to an 18. Even though it still only has the eight featurettes on the second disc, it includes a bonus "30 Days of Night" graphic novel.

ee also



Further reading

*cite book | author=Tim Lebbon |title=30 Days of Night |others=Novelization of the film |format=Mass Market Paperback |year=2007 |month=September |day=25 |publisher=Pocket Star |isbn=1416544975

External links

* [http://www.30daysofnight.com/ Official site]
* [http://web.archive.org/web/20061012101935/http://ghosthousepictures.comingsoon.net/latest_news.php?viewby=13 Production video journals] at Ghost House Pictures
* [http://www.ugo.com/ugo/html/article/?id=17808&sectionId=2 Steve Niles Interview] for "30 Days of Night" at [http://www.ugo.com UGO.com]
* [http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/30daysofnight/game/index.html Official multiplayer game for the film (with character design by Ben Templesmith)]
* [http://www.chaoscontrol.com/?article=brianreitzell Composer Brian Reitzell discusses his score for "30 Days of Night" ]

Box Office Leaders USA
before = Why Did I Get Married?
date = October 21
year = 2007
after = Saw IV

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