I recently went to go see 30 Days of Night. 30 Days of Night is based off a Steve Niles comic of the same name. My exposure to Steve Niles has been minimal at best. I recently picked up his Simon Dark #1 and enjoyed it but that’s about as much as I’ve read. I picked up the 30 Days of Night TPB a few months ago but never got around to reading it. With the movie coming out, I decided to sit down and read it beforehand.
30 Days of Night’s concept is genius. Vampires invade a town in Alaska that is in darkness for 30 days straight. Simple but brilliant. Unfortunately, the graphic novel fails to execute the idea with success. The store is plagued with pacing and other issues. The art is beautiful but at times its so abstract, its hard to follow what’s actually going on. There is also this odd subplot of a guy from New Orleans going to the town to get proof that Vampires exist. He gets there and dies in one panel. It did nothing to further the plot and I still have no idea why this was in there. The biggest problem with the book is its pacing. When I finished the book, the first words out of my mouth was “That’s it?â€?. The book left more like 30 Hours of Night. There is no sense of time and everything that happens feels like it happens in a very short amount of time. I didn’t hate the book but with everything you hear about it, I expected it to be at least good.
The movie adaption is based on the book’s plot for the most part. As with any book to movie adaption, parts are changed to fit the movie medium. I went to see the movie opening night with my girlfriend who’s into horror movies and she loved it. Me, not so much. I thought the movie was boring. I couldn’t wait for the movie to just get to the end. Like the graphic novel, I didn’t hate it but I didn’t like it. Plagued by the same pacing issues of the book and the lack of suspense, the movie was just a gory snoozefest. There were also a few plot changes from the book that made no sense. The first is they broke up Eben and Stella. Ok, that in itself doesn’t bother me but they never mention why they are broken up. If they had been together still, the movie would not have changed a single bit. Thankful they removed the New Orleans vampire hunter storyline as it was useless in the graphic novel and would have certainly been even more useless here. My biggest problem was again the pacing. They made it seem like the vampires sat on the roofs for 29 days in the freezing cold just waiting while the survivors moved from place to place every week or so. I didn’t care about the survivors, they were mostly nameless extras waiting to get mauled by a vampire and that’s what happened most of the time. There was one guy, Vampire Hunter Hadgid, that you actually felt a connection to but his anti-climatic death was just a kick in the balls.
Not everything in the movie was bad though. I loved the art direction of the movie. There were some great scene in the movie and it really felt cold and dark the whole time. They movie was actually gory enough to make be cringe at a few scenes too. Itâ€™s too bad the story and pacing made it fall short. There were just too many WTF moments in the movie for me. Um, little girl shows up after 29 days like its time for Dora the Explorer and lunch? What?! or how about Eben basically committing suicide for no reason. He went to save Stella from a fiery death and the truck never blows up. All he needed to do was wait 10 more minutes for the sun to come up. Huh?