30 Days of Night: Dark Days is a sequel to the impressive 2007 horror, 30 Days of Night and an adaption of the graphic novel of the same name. You can read our review of the original story here and Dark Days here.
Released in 2010 and set one year after the events of the first film, it sees Stella on a mission to expose and eradicate the vampire menace that decimated the Alaskan town of Barrow and cost her, her husband.
While Stella was a major character of the first film, her shoes are filled this time by Kiele Sanchez instead of Melissa George. Sanchez is a competent actress but unfortunately her version of Stella is an emotionless robot for most of the film and unconvincing as a heroine. Sure, what happened to her husband and the town would have hardened her but that never comes across well.
The story sees Stella travel to Los Angeles to give a lecture on the existence of vampires. Considering the absurd subject and how most in the crowd react when she mentions them, it’s surprising just how many turned up.
Not everyone in the crowd is laughing though. You see, Stella has gained the attention of the vampires and their arrogance has seen them infiltrate the crowd to see what she knows. Stella is aware of this and makes a show of frying the vampires in attendance in front of everyone.
She is arrested by Agent Norris, who reveals that he is one of the human followers of the vampires, charged with keeping their activities covered up. He warns Stella to stay out of their business and lets her go. Why? Who knows? Surely he should have just handed her over to the vampires!
Stella returns to her hotel to find Paul (Rhys Coiro), Amber (Diora Baird) and Todd (Harold Perrineau) waiting for her. They are like Stella, victims of the vampires in some way and also on mission to destroy them. They want Stella to join them in their hunt for the vampire queen, Lilith.
Stella agrees when she learns that Lilith was responsible for what happened in Barrow. She agrees to meet their leader, Dane (Ben Cotton) who just happens to also be a vampire. He has been able to hold on to his humanity & drinks blood from hospital stocks. Unsurprisingly Stella is wary but eventually agrees to go along with their plan to attack the vampires on their turf.
Guess how that turns out?
Exactly as expected. Which is the movie as a whole. Exactly as expected with the excitement that came with the original completely gone. Los Angeles is a bland location & much of the action takes place in warehouses and dilapidated buildings. Hardly the most memorable of imagery.
Early on the film begins to deviate from the source material before eventually setting fire to it completely. That wouldn’t be a problem if it resulted in an improvement but the generic story is boring and the characters extremely flat.
30 Days of Night was a thrill ride whereas 30 Days of Night: Dark Days is a snooze-fest. At least it ends as the graphic novel did.
30 Days of Night: Dark Days