30 Days of Night: Dark Days

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Studio: Stage 6 Films

MPAA Rating: R

Director: Ben Ketai

Review Rating: 7

The sole survivor of the vampire massacre of Barrow,Alaska, heads toLos Angeleson a crusade to hunt down other vampires before the next atrocity!

I’m not a huge fan of the first movie, 30 Days of Night, but as far as a vampire movie and even just the general premise of the vampire plot – a vampire massacre in Alaska where it’s nighttime all the time, for 30 days at least – it’s a hell of a lot better than the other vampire stuff being put out. The main reason for that being, the vampires in 30 Days are true vampires, monstrous and bestial, can’t be reasoned with or negotiated in any way, they’re just feeding and killing machines. They barely speak, rather there’s a lot of hissing and growling and sudden death. I’m all for that, it should be laid out very clear at this point, from vampire laureates such as Dracula and Lestat, that as pretty as they might look, just barely underneath that surface is a true parasitic monster. With that in mind, onward we go toL.A., where it’s really rather hard to tell the pretty monsters from anyone else.

So Stella was the only one to survive the massacre in Barrow, Alaska, they even throw in the death scene of her husband from the previous movie in the sequel, for continuity’s sake I would imagine. First Stella tries so very very hard to expose these vampires, she has symposiums where she openly announces the vampire attack in Alaska, amid the inevitable laughter. Of course, there are actual vampires in the audience, along with a representative from the FBI. And when Stella has the house lights come up and fry the vampires in the audience, all dressed like Underworld rejects mind you, the audience of course panics and bolts for the doors. Curiously, the FBI only hauls Stella in for a rather dry debriefing, and of course we learn not too much later that that particular FBI man is already in the vampires pocket. This leads us to be introduced to what I gather is the vampire Queen, progenitor, Elder, whatever you want to call her – they named her Lillith. Oi. Anyway, Stella meets up with a group of other vampire survivors and they all decide to mount a raid on the nest here inL.A., before the vampires get it in their pointy-teethed heads to go have another massacre inAlaska. Sure enough, amidst the debacle of the botched raid where the would-be vampire hunters are dying, they learn that Lillith and the rest are indeed preparing for another feast inAlaska, and hey, there’s the boat they’re going on. Let’s so kill em all! Well, we’ve been captured. But we’re on the boat, we can still kill those nasty bloodsuckers! Maybe.

I won’t actually spoil the ending, simply because the very very end isn’t something that I actually saw coming, and for all my complaints, managed to enjoy. But this sequel tried so very hard to not only have continuity, but give the film a storyline all it’s own and have it be epic and glorious. Now I ask you, after saying all those kind things about savage parasitic monster vampires, why would they need an epic storyline to back it up? All this stuff about FBI cover-ups, groups of vampire hunters, their psychotic Queen, and other such nonsense is just filler that in all honesty, 30 Days of Night never needed. If you’re going to go for one movie with a bunch of gore and action-monster scenes, and another in the same universe more or less that tries very hard to focus on storyline – I think the filmmakers got it backwards. Storyline movie first, then action sequel. However, the vampires are still more or less the same in 30 Days of Night: Dark Days, and that does make it at least tolerable.

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