Horror films don’t want to mess with our heads anymore. Instead, they focus on gory images that shock slightly more than their accompanying sound effects. “30 Days of Night” – the debut of the pre-Halloween scary-movie season – is indicative of this trend.

Adapted from a graphic novel, it’s to be expected that “30 Days” will be visually geared toward provocative, austere images. The movie doesn’t fail there, but it relies too heavily on visuals and not enough on the story or its potential to terrify.

As the last sun for a month sets over the northern-most Alaskan city, the citizens become victim to unexplainable incidences: a helicopter is destroyed, all cell phones go missing and the electricity goes out. Hell, even the sled dogs are maimed. Sheriff Eben Oleson (Josh Hartnett, “Resurrecting the Champ”) and his estranged wife Stella (Melissa George, “Turistas”) struggle to maintain order and calm. This becomes slightly more difficult when vampires cut all electricity in the town and begin ravaging the citizens.

After an hour, the awkwardly and barely inhuman vampires’ faces become ineffectual, their ear-piercing shrieks obnoxious. It’s not scary if it’s repetitive, and it’s not scary if it’s irritating. Instead of two hours of vicarious horror, we are left with fleeting, half-hearted scares.

Rating: 2/5 stars

“30 Days of Night”

At Quality 16 and Showcase


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