Friday, November 9, 2007
30 days of night wuss: That's me part 2
Okay, I admit as the opening credits appeared, I had prejudices about this movie. I know for a fact that it is a movie against vampires, the fantastical creatures that set to look pale and kill people for a feast in warm iron-tasting blood. I also made room to expect that it could be very gory, and maybe just gory without the element of a good and gripping storytelling. That indeed would make me really really cranky.
But despite the prejudices of just a gory vampire-human chase and attacks, I still have faith on this movie based on an actual graphic comic by Steve Niles. I reckon that it ensued lots of followers, and if it's a comic series, then the story must've been really revolutionary, gripping and quite sensible to be put into the screen. The only weight goes to the movie directors and producers on how they would transcend a fairly popular comic series into screen.
So, i gulped my cold strawberry lemonade, shut my brains out, and focused on the large screen in front of me.
The first few scenes introduced the environment they have in a very isolated village of Barrow, Alaska. The lighting and the scenes made this village very provincial, cold and isolated. As a viewer, I already had lists of disadvantageous aspects that this village has in terms of a crisis, which in this story includes the attack of Vampires.
The story also started during the last day of the 'Sun' as the village is gearing up for winter, which is funny because they've been technically in winter everyday). And that winter is no ordinary winter, because they would have to endure 30 days without the sun.
That is such a perfect invitation to our antagonists as the lead role started to materialize in the character of Eben and Stella, the estranged husband and wife, who are one of the few authorities in the town. To cut the long story short, the movie at first showed preparations of the vampire's coming. As the people were oblivious, certain incidents seem to occur. Sleigh dogs were ruthlessly killed, people assigned in main town's communication hubs are killed, and slowly individuals in isolated places in town were slowly being dragged and eaten.
As their presence already seem known, their strengths and their distinct VAMPIRE-qualities are exposed. I know that we have been exposed to vampires that normal have pale, aristocratic and aqualine features, but somehow these type of vampires seem to add a little depth to it. These vampires have black empty eyes, really stretched faces...as if they had a bad and excessive face lift, and their teeth are numerous, jagged and sharp like piranhas and not the clean and suave fangs that we've been exposed to. If you tend to observe sharply, they go throughout the movie without closing their mouths, as if they breathe through them. And the suave bites of our common vampires is quite opposite to their method of sucking. The vampires in this movie have poor 'sucking-manners' it's disgusting.
Anyways, the chase began. Villagers are attacked, and there was a magnificent areal scene that took my breath away. In that scene you see vampires slowly attacking every home and blood tainting the purity of the snow. You see the chaos and you see the helplessness of the people. But of course Ebun and his small team tried to stick together, hid in shacks, shadows and corners just to survive 30 days of night.
As strong as these creatures were, they also have weaknesses. They are weak to detect humans in the cold, which is of the advantage of the people when blizzard occurs. They are also weak to intensive light. So as the chase progressed we have come to the inevitable and the leader of the team took a very twisted decision to save his loved ones and at the end killed it's leader at the dawn of the last 30 days without sun.
But despite the victory, it was not at all a happy ending for Eben was transformed as a vampire. So together with Stella, they watched the sunrise in a hill, in tears and longing. It's a scene depicting sadness as you feel them trying to hold on the last moments they have together. As the sun rises, Eben hugged Stella and started to shake. There was this specific shot, and BRAVO to the director, wherein Eben (still hugging Stella) faced the sunrise, with complete emotion of sadness and frustration as his slowly turned into ashes. And it was done so beautifully that it showed Eben's human side despite his macho-like exterior. Yes, I admit it made me teary-eyed for the love of God! IT was that good!! The scene was so brilliantly conceptualized the transformation of flesh to ashes is so magnificent that you almost feel their pain and sadness. I tell you, at that time you feel your worth as a human. And most especially if you have grievances with your significant other, then this is a perfect scene for you to be able to patch things up.
All in the all the movie was a treat. It might have its bloody moments, but that was not the focus of scare. The scare was the chase, the shadow-lurking, and the psychological abandonment of sense if one is put in that position. Although, there were lots of scenes omitted there, but one wouldn't see it as a weakness. The movie is a question of survival more than anything else, and I think the director did a pretty good job at gripping people till it's over because material like this, with limited storyline and setting is not very easy to stretch. It might either bore you or grip you. This movie may not be perfect, or top at your horror movie list, but certainly not a waste of your money, although not being able to read the comic book, I still have questions not answered in the movie.
But if you're planning an entertaining, equally thrilling movie to watch, I guess I would have to recommend this to you and also maybe get teary eyed in the end.