Movie Review From the Vault : 30 Days of Night: Dark Days

Had Potential but failed to offer a compelling story
Over All Experience
Reasons to Watch
Slightly Different Take on Vampires
Some good action
Mia Kirshner
Sleep Inducing
stupid characters doing stupid things
Diora Baird

30 Days of Night: Dark Days isn’t a terrible movie, but it does have some problems.

I enjoyed the David Slade movie 30 Days of Night which starred Josh Harnett and Mellisa George. The 2007 film was stylishly directed, had a competent cast and a compelling story. If only the 2010 Direct to Video sequel had those same qualities. 30 Days of Night: Dark Days isn’t a terrible movie, but it does have some problems.

A Direct to Video sequel is sometimes not a good sign. This usually means that the budget is much less than the original and or that the studio didn’t like the finished film and determined that it wasn’t strong enough for theatrical release. In the case of 30 Days of Night: Dark Days, the producers had a smaller budget from the start and knew they were going straight to video before production began. This leads to the next problem of the film; The main character isn’t played by the same actress as in the original.

Melissa George played Stella Oleson in the original 30 Days of Night, but chose not to star in the sequel. It could have been that miss George didn’t like the smaller pay check offered, or the stigma of the Direct to Video release or the script. If you judge some of the other things Melissa George has stared in, like Triangle, then Direct to Video isn’t a major concern to her. Though all three issues could have been part of the decision not to appear in the sequel.The fact that the script has the Stella Oleson character doing such stupid things through the entire story; would have to make most actors think twice before taking the part.

30 Days of Night: Dark Days has Kiele Sanchez playing Stella Oleson. Kiele is an attractive actress but seems to have come from the Kristen Stewart (Twilight) school of acting. Her acting range seems to only cover depressed and an expression that looks like she has indigestion.

The rest of the cast doesn’t fair much better with the poor script they have to work with. Rhys Coiro who plays Paul the leader of a group of vampire hunters and Stella’s new love interest seems kind of bored. Harold Perrineau is Todd the token black member of the vampire hunters and has little to do. Diora Baird is Amber, another member of the group , who you spend most of the time rooting for her to die.

The lovely Mia Kirshner plays queen of the vampires, Lilith. Poor Mia isn’t really given much to do and seems to mostly try to walk around with the black contacts in her eyes and not bump into the props. The one scene that could have been visually interesting has Lilith rising from a blood filled bath tub to stand before her minions in all her naked glory. Miss Kirshner has appeared nude in many productions and one would think this would not be a problem in this R rated film; but the limp direction by Ben Ketai has the audience left in the dark.

One of the stronger aspect of the original 30 Days of Night was the stylish and dynamic direction by David Slade. That dynamic direction is very much missed in this sequel. Director Ketai has little visual style and combined with a weak story he co wrote with Steve Niles makes the final result little more than a group of stupid characters doing stupid things to further the plot along.This film commits the one crime a film can never do; be boring and you will find yourself bored with 30 Days of Night: Dark Days