Wednesday, October 6, 2010

30 Days of Night: Dark Days (2010)

What phrase besides "remake" are horror fans usually wary of? "Direct to Video/DVD Sequel." If a horror or action movie proves to at least be a modest hit in theaters, then you can bet your biscuits that there is going to be a sequel that doesn't get a theatrical release, and that it's not going to be that good. Sure, there are exceptions, such as "Wrong Turn 2." But for every "Wrong Turn 2", there's going to be something like "Wrong Turn 3" or "The Descent 2." Sadly, "30 Days of Night: Dark Days" is in the unsatisfactory side of the coin,

After the events of "30 Days of Night", Stella (Kiele Sanchez, replacing Melissa George) has relocated to L.A., where she's trying to convince people of what really happened. Luckily for her, there's a group of renegade vampire hunters-Paul (Rhys Coiro), Amber (Diora Baird), Todd (Harold Perrineau) and good guy vampire Dane (Ben Cotton)-want her to help them rid the world of the vampire menace. Now, they must prevent a ship from entering Alaska, and stop Lilith (Mia Kirshner), the queen of the vampires.

I will give "30 Days of Night: Dark Days" credit for a few things. Some of the performances are fine, with Sanchez doing a good job of filling Mellisa George's boots. There's also some fine vampire deaths, and a really nice score from Andres Boulton. Sadly, not all of the performances are up to par, with Baird being a bit annoying as the tough-girl Amber (though it's neat to see her play against type), and Kirshner not really doing the best job as Lilith. Remember how imposing Danny Huston was as Marlow in the previous movie? Let's just say you won't loose any sleep over Lilith.

Which leads to the movie's biggest flaw: a lot of it just feels so half-baked. The vampires-once terrifying, animalistic killers-now just look like Goth's in leather. You're less likely to be interested in them then just shrug your shoulders and say "eh" whenever they show up. Then there's the massive amount of gun-play involved. Look, I know those involved were aiming for a different type of movie, but this feels less like a logical successor to "30 Days of Night" than it does a Direct to DVD "Blade" knock-off. Oh, and do we really need the black guy to be the first to die again? Come on, cut him some slack.

As it stands, there's much worse Direct to DVD titles out right now, and there's worse vampire movies out right now. That's no real excuse though, as "30 Days of Night: Dark Days" is pretty much just another generic sequel that nobody really asked for. To pardon the bad joke, it lacks bite.

Rating: 4/10

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