30 Days of Night: Dark Days (2010)

So, you have a successful movie in that you made money - certainly more than you spent on making the movie - so what happens next? You make a sequel. Unfortunately, you probably don't have the budget to get the B-list actors that you got before, but that just means that this is a great opportunity for some actor to rise from obscurity, right? Only with the right script and director. This movie had neither.

We pick up where the last movie left off. The hero had died tragically in his wife's arms, and the vampires had been vanquished from Barrow, Alaska after the 30 days without sun. So... this movie takes place in Los Angeles. Not sure why we picked up at the end of the last movie at all if we were going to shift gears to LA anyway. The first flashes at the beginning of the film are kind of pointless as a result.

We start with a different actress playing the role of the widow. Kiele Sanchez is the woman who kind of looks like Melissa George and took her talent, put it on a photocopier, and copied it at about 75%. I mean, she's on screen a lot, so a lot is required of her, but she can't carry the movie alone, and she pretty much has to. Her character is on a tour where she talks about the events of the first movie and the vampires, and it's now a ploy to get vamps to show up to her meetings and hit them with UV lights to kill them.

After dealing with Troy Ruptash, an FBI guy who appears to have virtually unlimited legal power, she is met by three people who claim to be hunting vampires, and they see that she's a target and may need to join them on their hunt of vamps. These three people are pretty generic. You have guy who exists to kind of be the leader and also to generate some sexual tension (Rhys Coiro), girl who is generally bitchy and will inevitably become like family (Diora Baird), and disposable black guy (Harold Perrineau). They follow their enigmatic leader who doesn't help as much as you'd think he wold, the partial vampire played by Ben Cotton.

One of the important things to know is that this movie has nothing to do with a calendar. It doesn't matter how many days it takes, and they aren't dark. They certainly aren't all night days (if that's actually a thing). Instead, the focus is on Lilith, a scary vampire who isn't really scary. I can't say there is anything that she does that makes me think she should be scary other than the fangs. But they all have fangs. There's no indication that she's faster, stronger, smarter, or anything.

Let's talk about effects - they aren't good. The blood that they use in this film is more like cranberry juice. I'm not even sure it's that thick. When someone is bleeding to death from an arm cut along the artery that is dripping down on them, you need volume and spurting - and we get neither. When Lilith gets out of a tub filled with blood (not sure why she's bathing in it) she has only a thin sheen of red liquid on her that drips clear, red-tinted liquid. It's distressing that the one damn focal point in effects for this movie was so bad.

Direction was not good
Effects were bad
Acting was passable for this movie
Script was rehashed tripe
Dialog was just bad

Bottom Line: The series would have survived just fine without a sequel, and it should have been allowed to.



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