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- "You can feel it. That cold ain't the weather. That's death approaching. Who do you think they're gonna take first? The girl, who thinks a gun will help her? The kid, sheriff's kid? Or the old gal?"
- ―The Stranger
|30 Days of Night|
|Title:||30 Days of Night|
|Directed by:||David Slade|
|Written by:||Steve Niles|
|Produced by:||Joe Drake|
|Music by:||Brian Reitzell|
|Edited by:||Art Jones|
|Distributed by:||Columbia Pictures; Dark Horse Entertainment; Ghosthouse Underground|
|Released:||October 19th, 2007|
|Running time:||1 hr. 53 min.|
|Next:||30 Days of Night: Dark Days|
30 Days of Night is a 2007 horror film about vampires directed by David Slade. The film was produced by Columbia Pictures and Dark Horse Entertainment and adapts the 30 Days of Night comic book/graphic novel series by IDW Publishing. It premiered in Hollywood, California on October 16th and had a wide theatrical release on October 19th.
Barrow, Alaska is the northernmost town in the United States. Every winter, the sun goes down and does not rise again for thirty days, making Barrow a frozen and isolated community. Atop a snowy peak, a grizzled stranger watches an icebreaker ship coming across the sea. Knowing what this signifies, he turns away and begins marching towards Barrow.
On the last day of sun, Sheriff Eben Oleson and Deputy Billy Kitka discover a patch of black scorch marks in the middle of a field. The patch is a pile of burned up cell phones. Both men are confused by their find and wonder if a group of rebellious teenagers might have been responsible. Afterward, Eben and Billy turn to observe the final sunset they will see for the next month.
Back in town, fire marshal Stella Oleson talks with Adam Colletta. Adam knows that she and her husband Eben are separated, but he holds onto hope that they might be able to settle their differences and get back together. She appreciates his concern, but she is in a hurry to make the last plane out of Barrow before the airport closes down for the winter.
Eben and Billy drive out to Beau Brower's place where they find him working on the engine of his GMC truck. Eben sees that he is leaking generator oil all over the ground and issues him a citation. Beau is an unfriendly sort of fellow and grumbles at Eben for writing him up. When he gets back into the truck, Billy asks him why he gave him a citation for such a minor offense. Eben tells him that Beau lives all alone and sometimes a little citation lets him know that he's still part of the community.
Stella races her Chevy truck down Ransom and Route 355, desperate to get to the airport in time. A young man named Malekai Hamm crosses the area in a trenching tractor, but loses control of the brakes and smashes into Stella's truck. They are both okay, but this costs Stella time that she cannot afford to waste. Reluctantly, she calls Eben and tells him that she needs a ride to the airport. Eben sends Billy to go pick her up.
He then fields a call from John and Ally Riis, a husband and wife who own a dog sled kennel. When Oleson shows up at their place, they reveal that somebody broke into the kennel and slaughtered all of the dogs. Eben notices that the attack took place only a short time ago and promises to look into it.
He returns to the police station where he finds his grandmother, Helen, and his younger brother Jake. Helen tells Eben that Carter Davies telephoned him regarding some vandalism that took place at the utilidor where he works. He drives to the utilidor and meets with Carter Davies and Wilson Bulosan. Wilson Bulosan is a helicopter pilot who lives in the area and tells Eben how someone ripped out the throttle and the rotors to his helicopter and threw them into the utilidor shredder (which Carter refers to as "The Muffin Monster"). In anger, he hurls a butcher knife into the machine and watches it as it gets chopped up with the rest of the debris.
Meanwhile, Gus Lambert is working at the communications relay station. He is monitoring his post when he notices the power going out. He takes a flashlight and begins looking about outside. A group of dark, furtive figures dart around him and Gus grows scared. They are vampires and as they surround him, one of them leaps upon him and tears out his throat.
Elsewhere, the stranger makes his way to the Ikos Diner. He is dirty, mangy and shifty-eyed. He asks for a shot of whiskey, but the establishment's owner, Lucy Ikos tells him that the sale of alcohol is illegal for the entire month. He then asks for raw hamburger, but Lucy tells him that they only serve their meat two ways - frozen or burnt. The stranger begins to get riled up. Eben walks in and sees that he might be a trouble maker and asks him to leave. The stranger gets up in Eben's face in a threatening manner. Stella Oleson enters the diner and puts a gun to the back of the stranger's head. Eben then arrests him.
While the Olesons take the stranger to the sheriff’s office, the silently moving vampire horde continues to thin out the population. They attack three workers named Denise, Aaron and Gabe outside their place of business. Gabe is pulled into the shadows and killed. The vampires throw his body back out into the snow and Denise and Aaron find him with his throat slit open.
At the station, Eben throws the stranger into a jail cell. He then discovers a stash of marijuana in his grandmother's desk drawer. He asks Jake about it and he tells him that it helps her with her cancer. Eben now understands why Jake wanted to live with her rather than Stella and he. Helen confesses that she keeps a private greenhouse at her home and jokes that she didn't want Eben arresting her. Just then, they lose computer network access at the station. Eben tries to call Gus Lambert to see what the problem is, but discovers that the phone lines are down. From his cell, the stranger begins to smile. He eerily intones, "They're coming. This time they gonna take me with 'em". Eben asks him, "Who are they?" As if in response, all of the power in Barrow goes down.
Eben gets in his truck and drives out to the communications station. He sees that all of the power has been cut off and begins scanning the area with his flashlight. He spots smears of blood in the snow and follows the trail until he finds Gus Lambert's frozen head impaled on a wooden post.
Shortly thereafter, a vampire known as Arvin attacks the trailer home of John and Ally Riis. He bursts through the window of their house and snatches Ally. He drags her outside and pulls her underneath the wooden stilts holding up the trailer. John goes after them, but the vampire slashes at his face and breaks his leg. Ally disappears into the darkness.
Back at the police station, Helen, Jake and Stella entertain themselves with a board game while the stranger stands in his cell taunting them. Jake grows irritated at him and throws a game piece in his direction. The stranger picks the piece up, thanking Jake, and telling him that he now has something he can use to pick the lock. Jake goes over to recover the piece, but the stranger grabs him about the throat. Eben gets back just in time to shoot the stranger in the shoulder and get Jake safely away from him. Eben then handcuffs the stranger to the bars of his cell. The stranger acts more deranged than ever and begins frothing at the mouth. He shouts that they are all dead.
Eben and Stella get in the truck and drive towards the pipeline to find Billy. As they continue forward, Eben sees a dark shape flashing in the rear view mirror. A vampire leaps upon the top of the truck and begins pounding on the roof. Stella grips the steering wheel tightly in an effort to stay on the road, while Eben fires his sidearm through the roof. The vampire falls, but is otherwise unharmed. The two continue driving.
As panic begins to slowly overtake the people of Barrow, the vampires decide to reveal themselves. The leader of the brood is a man named Marlow Roderick, who communicates with his brethren via an ancient, vampire language. He is attended by Zurial, Kali, Arvin and Iris.
Several people hole up at the Ikos Diner. Wilson Bulosan attends to his elderly father Isaac. Denise tells Carter Davies how the creatures killed Aaron and Gabe. Jake tells them that they killed his grandmother.
Meanwhile, Marlow and Iris raid the home of Adam and Jeannie Colletta. Adam shoots Marlow with his pistol, but the attack proves ineffective. Marlow pins Adam against the wall and impales him with a fire poker, while Iris bites into Jeannie's throat. Approving of the situation, Marlow lets out a resounding screeching sound that signals the other vampires in Barrow. It is now time for them to come out of the shadows and kill indiscriminately.
The vampires begin wholesale slaughtering every man, woman and child that they come across. Those armed with rifles try to fight back, but within the span of only a few minutes, the snow-covered streets of Barrow are painted red.
Eben and Stella manage to make it to the diner and meet up with the others. Everyone is confused and frightened and nobody seems to have any idea of what is going on. Eben is overjoyed to see Jake, and the two embrace. Denise recommends going to Charlie Kelso's house and using his attic to hide. The pull-down ladder is hidden and there's a strong chance that they'll be avoid the vampires if they stay there.
Eben and Stella go off to gather as many bear traps and flares as they can possibly find. They tell the others that they will meet up with them at Kelso's attic. As they're driving, a nest of vampires attacks them and overturns the police truck. Help arrives from one of the most unlikely of resources however. Beau Brower charges through the street with his bulldozer and smashes three vampires against the side of a building. Before Marlow and the others can get to them, Eben and Stella pile into Beau's truck and they drive off. They go to Kelso's house and find the secret entrance into the attic where they meet up with the others. Everybody looks towards Eben as to what to do next.
Meanwhile, Marlow goes to the police station where he finds the stranger still handcuffed to the bars of his cell. The stranger is both frightened and elated to see Marlow and believes that he will turn him into a vampire. Instead, Marlow cradles the stranger's head then snaps his neck.
Back at the attic, the group tries to come up with a plan, but tensions run high. Wilson looks after his elderly father, Isaac Bulosan, while Doug Hertz wants to take his chances fighting the vampires. Eben wants to go to the general store and get supplies. He feels that if they can hole up at the utilidor they can last at least a month.
Day 7: A young woman named Kirsten Toomey is stumbling through the empty streets of Barrow screaming for help. The vampires are crouched upon the roofs, silently watching her. Eben and the others look out the window and realize the vampires are using her for bait. Kirsten turns a corner and runs into Marlow, Arvin and Iris. Tearfully, she tells them that there is nobody left and begins praying to God for help. Marlow looks to the heavens as if searching for some sign of the divine, then back to her and says, "No God". To draw any possible survivors out of hiding, Marlow and the others begins slashing at the girl's face and shoulders. Finally, Arvin finishes her off by plunging his fangs into her throat.
Eben goes out and finds John Riis hiding underneath his house. He has apparently been there ever since the vampires took Ally. Eben helps him out, but soon discovers that John is now a vampire. He is starving however, and barely has the strength to chase after him. John lunges, but gets himself tied up in a swing set. Eben picks up an axe and hacks away at John's head until it finally falls to the ground.
Eben makes it back to the Kelso house, but begins having an asthma attack. While Stella sees to him, Isaac Bulosan grows frantic and tries to leave. Wilson and Stella corral him and bring him back up to the attic. Isaac manages to slip past them however and Wilson goes to chase after him. Stella tries to stop him, but Wilson shrugs her off. She falls and slams her head on the newel post of the banister. Eben recovers from his asthma attack and sees to Stella.
Wilson stumbles through the snow swept streets calling out for his father, but gets no response. His shouts attract the attention of the vampires who pounce upon him and drag him off to be killed.
Snow begins falling hard and the group decides that this would be the best time to move. They venture out into the blizzard and make their way to Steve's General Store. They pour through the shelves, grabbing food, propane and medical supplies. They suddenly hear a sickening sound coming from one of the aisles. They find a little girl vampire feeding off the beheaded body of a man. She turns towards the group and says, "I'm done playing with this one. You wanna play with me now?" She charges at Eben who begins swinging his axe, but she is too fast for him. Carter Davies sprays her with mace, which only briefly stuns her. The others pull her off of him and pin her to the wall, at which point, Jake Oleson picks up Eben's axe and chops her head off.
Day 18: The whiteout ends and the group must decide upon their next move. Stella deduces that these creatures might be vulnerable to sunlight. She recalls that Helen Munson maintained a UV lamp array in her home for growing marijuana. If someone were to create a diversion, one of them might be able to make it to the house and secure the lamp. Eben, Jake and Stella argue over who should be the one to create the diversion, but ultimately Eben decides that he will be the one to go.
He leaves the store with his axe and begins running through the streets, shouting out loud to draw the vampires' attention. He gets to his mother's home and starts up the generator in the garage. The others begin to follow after him, desperately trying to avoid the vampires' notice. A vampire woman with long, blonde hair leaps down from the room of a building and pounces on Doug Hertz. She tears away at his throat as the others begin to run.
When the other vampires see that Eben has reached the house, they circle around the area. Iris charges through the front door and Eben activates the UV lamps. The intense blast of radiation seers her face and she falls away in pain. She goes outside where Marlow sees what has happened. Deciding that Iris is now "broken", he ends her life. Eben manages to escape from the house.
The rest of the group manages to get to the police station. Stella sees the blood-stained cell where the stranger was, but the cell is empty.
Beau decides to create another diversionary tactic to give Eben more time to escape. He gets in his trencher tractor and begins plowing through random vampires. Several of them leap onto the vehicle and Beau picks them off with his shotgun. He crashes the tractor into the front of a hotel parlor to make his final stand. He lights two flares and drops them into a box of dynamite as the vampires converge upon him. He hopes that the ensuing explosion will take out as many as the creatures as possible. Miraculously, Beau survives the explosion. He is blasted out the window into the snow. Marlow approaches him and finishes Beau off by crushing his skull in with his boot.
Eben meets up with the others back at the police station, but now they face another problem. Carter Davies reveals that the little girl from the general store bit him and he is now a vampire. Tearfully, he laments the loss of his wife and children who were killed by a drunk driver and how badly he wants to be with them. He cannot live forever. Solemnly, Eben follows him into the adjacent room where he performs a mercy killing, cutting Carter's head off with two swift blows from his axe.
Day 27: Eben notices a flashing light blinking intermittently from the second floor of a house across the street. This is Billy Kitka's house and Eben now realizes that he is alive. The group manages to sneak over to the house unseen. Billy is in bad shape and is half-slumped against a wall in his room. Eben learns to his horror that Billy has killed his wife and two little girls. He confesses that he had heard them screaming and could not bear the thought of them being turned into monsters. Eben cannot abide this and shakes Billy up, screaming at him for the choices he has made.
The plan is still to reach the utilidor at any cost. The group trudges out into the snow, but Eben has to help Billy along. Stella notices a young girl, Gail Robbins, stumbling about through the snow with blood on her face. She separates from the group to go and help her.
Eben goes on ahead and gets to the utilidor before any of the others. Jake helps Lucy and Denise to get there and Billy eventually makes it on his own. The vampire Arvin tracks them down and breaks into the utilidor. He comes across Billy first and sinks his teeth into his throat. He then lunges at Eben, pushing him towards the grinder. Billy musters up just enough strength to tackle Arvin and pushes his body over the edge where it is chewed up inside the metal gears of the grinder. Billy nearly falls in after him and his right arm is shredded. Moments later, Billy emits a monstrous shriek and Eben realizes that Arvin's bite has turned him into a vampire as well. Eben hacks away at Billy's neck with the axe until it comes off.
Stella finally radios Eben over the walkie talkie. Gail and she are trapped underneath an abandoned truck and they are freezing to death. Nobody has spotted them yet, but there are too many vampires around for them to even attempt to escape.
Meanwhile, Marlow addresses his brood. He tells them how it has taken their kind centuries to convince the humans that vampires were only creatures of the imagination. Now that winter is almost over, they cannot allow the possibility that someone might escape and warn others. They cut into a pipeline, allowing the oil to spill forward where it runs into the main thoroughfare. Marlow lights a match and the oil ignites in flames. The fire quickly consumes all of the larger buildings in the area.
Staring out a window from the utilidor, Eben realizes that they are quickly running out of options. If Stella tries to run, he knows they will kill her, but if she stays, she'll burn to death in the fire. He tells the others that if they hope to survive, they have to change their strategy. Eben takes a syringe from a first aid kit and collects a sample of Billy's blood from his body. He then injects the vampire blood into his forearm. He believes that he can hold on to his humanity long enough to hopefully make a difference.
Eben goes out into the snow to face Marlow. The two begin fighting and Eben surprises Marlow with how strong he has become. Marlow picks him up and throws him down hard onto the hood of a car. Eben fights back and succeeds in driving his fist into Marlow's mouth and through the back of his skull. With the demise of their leader and the threat of the approaching dawn, the other vampires decide to flee.
Stella and Gail come out from their hiding spot. She understands the sacrifice that Eben was required to make to save their lives. Though he still holds onto his humanity, Eben is now a full vampire and this is the last night of winter. Stella and he go out onto the ridge to watch the sun rise. As the sun comes up over the horizon, Eben's skin turns black and he dies in Stella's arms.
Box Office & Reception Edit
30 Days of Night opened theatrically in the United States on October 19th, 2007 in 2,859 theaters across the nation. It earned $15,951,902 on it's opening weekend, ranking number 1 across 2,855 theaters, averaging $5,587 per theater. The final theatrical screenings were held on November 25th, 2007. The film received moderately positive reviews from the nation's top critics, though it only ranked 49% "fresh" rating at Rotten Tomatoes. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times called it a "better than average" vampire movie that he felt was "well-made, well-photographed and "plausibly acted". 
Differences from the comic Edit
The central plot and story structure of the film is relatively identical to that of the comic book series. Most of the differences between the two comes down to the depiction of the central characters. In the comic book series, Eben and Stella's last name is Olemaun, not Oleson. Stella is a Sheriff's deputy working under her husband as opposed to a fire marshal, which is how she is presented in the film. In the comics, the Olemaun's appear to be of Eskimo descent. Their nationality is never firmly established, but a bald vampire refers to some "Eskimo trouble" following an encounter with Eben. In the comics, Eben and Stella have a healthy, loving marriage and are not estranged.
The character of Marlow Roderick is also significantly different in the film than in the comics. The film version of the character actually combines Marlow with another vampire named Vicente. In the comics, Marlow is the one who first brings his brood of eighteen vampires to Barrow, and Vicente arrives shortly thereafter. Vicente is Marlow's superior and is greatly displeased with how he has handled things in Barrow. In issue #3 of the limited series, it is Vicente who kills Marlow, not Eben. The scenes from the film where Eben becomes a vampire and fights up against Marlow is similar to what takes place in the comic, but it is actually Vicente that Eben has his final fight against.
There are also three different characters introduced in the limited series who are not addressed in the film. The first issue of the series shows a young computer hacker named George coming to the home of a medium named Miss Judith in New Orleans. He shows her email communications between Marlow and Vicente and Judith learns about their plan to go to Barrow. She sends her grandson Taylor to Alaska to record video evidence of the existence of vampires.
Very few characters from the film are even addressed in the comic book series. The only other named character common to both the film and the comics is Gus Lambert, the manager of the radio outpost. Gus meets the same fate in the comic as he does in the film, but the comic gives a little additional narrative concerning Gus' life before coming to Barrow.
Four of the secondary vampires featured in the comic book series have counterparts in the film, but are never identified by name. Iris appears in several scenes, but survives in the comic whereas she is killed by Marlow in the film. A vampire who appears to be Arvin is also featured in the comic book series and he has a chance encounter with Eben midway through the story. The Little girl vampire is also featured in the comic and boasts the same line of dialogue from the film when she says, "I'm done playing with this nice man. Do you wanna play with me now?"
An unnamed counterpart to Billy Kitka is seen at the end of the series. As in the movie, the character becomes a vampire and Eben is forced to kill him. He then takes a sample of his blood and injects himself with it, transforming into a vampire. In the film, Billy is introduced in the very beginning and is with Eben when they come upon the burned up cell phones. They also stand to watch the final sunset together. In the comic, it was Stella who was with Eben during these scenes.
The stranger that comes to Barrow is also slightly different in the comics than he is in the film. He is much taller and more menacing with long, raggedy black hair. In the original script treatment for issue #1 of the series, writer Steve Niles identifies him only as "Freak". The scenes involving the stranger at the Ikos diner are almost identical between the comic and the movie. In the film, Marlow kills the stranger after refusing to turn him into a vampire. In the comic, he uses superhuman strength to pry open the bars of his cell, forcing Eben to shoot him in the head. Stella then shoots him several more times just for good measure. Steve Niles categorizes the stranger as the "Renfield" of his vampire story.
References are made to characters named George, Ted and Richardson who are not seen in the film.
The Ikos Diner and Steve's General Store make appearances in both media. The general store is seen very briefly in the first issue and is not seen again throughout the rest of the series. Other settings such as the Wiley Post / Will Rogers Memorial Airport and the utilidor are exclusive to the film.
Notes & Trivia Edit
Body Count Edit
|1||Gus Lambert||Slit throat; beheaded|
|5||Helen Munson||Bitten by vampires|
|6||Adam Colletta||Stabbed with fire poker by Marlow|
|7||Jeannie Colletta||Bitten by Iris|
|8||Kirsten Toomey||Tortured then killed by Arvin|
|9||John Riis||Beheaded by Eben|
|10||Wilson Bulosan||Dragged off and killed|
|11||Tom Melanson||Beheaded by little girl vampire|
|12||Little girl vampire||Beheaded by Jake Oleson|
|13||Doug Hertz||Bitten by blonde vampire|
|14||Iris||Burned by Eben then killed by Marlow|
|15||Beau Brower||Head stomped in by Marlow|
|16||Carter Davies||Beheaded by Eben|
|17||Arvin||Pushed into "Muffin Monster" by Billy Kitka|
|18||Billy Kitka||Beheaded by Eben|
|19||Marlow Roderick||Punched through head by Eben|
|20||Eben Oleson||Destroyed by sunlight|
See also Edit
External Links Edit