Directed by Ben Ketai, the 30 Days of Night: Dark Days ‘straight to DVD' follow-up sees Stella Oleson teaming up with a group of vampire hunters who’re in search of Lillith, the queen vamp who orchestrated the attack in the first movie.
Let’s cut to the chase. This movie is a mess. On its own? It’s a morose, slow, perpetually uninteresting Buffy / Blade knock-off. As a sequel to 30 Days of Night? It’s atrocious.
I’ve seen Dark Days twice now. I first saw it years back and I vehemently disliked it. Second viewing? I still disliked it but I also acknowledge that it’s a ‘straight to DVD’ release.
That being said, the entire creative team did not do their homework. This movie did not feel like a sequel to 30 Days of Night. Melissa George is now replaced by a glum Kiele Sanchez. The vampires have lost their primal vigour that made them such an overwhelming threat. The makeup and prosthetic designs are just not the same.
The ‘month of darkness’ concept is completely absent as we’re no longer in Barrow, Alaska! So there’s no point in calling it 30 Days of Night anymore. The convoluted story and the dead setting of Los Angeles strips all sense of simplicity that the first movie favoured. Instead we’re stuck with idiotically melodramatic characters, none of whom are convincingly acted.
There are searing retcons made from the first movie, the vamps can no longer withstand body shots from guns. Apparently they can now revive their own clan by dropping blood into their rotting corpses? If that’s the case, how come Marlow didn’t do that in the first movie after he killed his fianceé?
The characters enter a vampire nest and one of them completely loses their cool. I can’t believe for a second that these guys survived other vampire nests they had alluded to, they get beaten and cornered ridiculously easily. Worst vampire slayers ever!
This movie also looks horrendous. The cinematography is dreadfully shaky and the CGI is a joke. What really brought the movie down was the ending. I won’t spoil it, but point being that I could not understand the direction it took.
Stella makes a maddening lapse in logic, I ended up repulsing the character after what she did. The movie was inexorably bland and terribly un-scary, but then it just gets to a point where it is just borderline terrible.
Dark Days has none of the style or the strength David Slade showcased with the first movie. The characters sucked, the story sucked, the scares sucked, the aesthetic sucked, the vampires sucked. It just sucked. It’s not fun and it’s really convoluted.
The first movie is flawed in my eyes, but I’d rather sit through it ten more times than to sit through this garbage again.
Written by Seán Mac G.