It takes a lot for a horror movie to get that kind of reaction out of me. The last one that truly did it (and did it well) was 28 Days Later. I saw that with a co-worker one sunny Friday afternoon in the summer. Neither of us could believe the sun was still shining when we walked out of the theatre.
Before that, it was The Ring – we got out of the theatre after the late show, looked at one another sheepishly, and went to an all-night Bickford’s so we wouldn’t have to go home and go to bed.
(I suppose I should give a nod to Saw, but that didn’t so much freak me out as it made me uncomfortable. Creepy imagery, squirm-worthy situations, but nowhere near the impact of The Ring or 28 Days Later.)
Anyway. 30 Days of Night. If it takes a lot for a horror movie to impress me, it takes even more when that horror movie is about vampires. Pretty goth kids biting each other is overdone, and hardly scary. Most of Anne Rice’s vampires just need a good slap. But these ones? Sure, some of them looked kind of goth-y, but I certainly wouldn’t want them biting me. There were a couple of predictable moments – you know someone’s getting bitten and hiding it – but I didn’t mind, especially the way the revelation and the aftermath came about.
Usually, I prefer reading the book or graphic novel before I see a movie. There are always things you just can’t bring from the page onto the screen, and I hate having an actor’s face forever in my memory. Molly Ringwald is not the Frannie Goldsmith I had pictured in my head. Nor is Tom Cruise Lestat, nor Claire Danes Yvaine (as great as she was in Stardust…)
For 30 Days, though, I’m glad I went in not knowing what was coming. I didn’t have that safety of “Oh, I know what’s next” to keep me distanced.
It’s one of the few movies I’d probably see again in theatres.
That’s how much I liked it.