Ever wondered what it would be like to see every vampire movie ever made, all rolled into one? If so, 30 Days of Night is for you -- it's got a little bit of everything. For Dracula-lovers, there's a hillbilly Renfield, played by everyone's new favorite actor, Ben Foster. His arrival in town at the outset, with a shambling gait and greasy-roadie haircut, foreshadows the arrival of some nameless master who he's bound to displease in some way. The vampires, when they arrive, turn out not to be Hungarian sophisticates, but feral beasts who look like a cross between a cougar and Marilyn Manson. They take their movement cues from The Lost Boys, attacking from out of frame and grabbing their prey up into space or yanking them into a dark corner. Instead of sucking blood, they tear their victims' limbs apart as easily as restaurant rolls. An apparent nod to the Blade series also creeps in, when the vamps begin speaking some erudite, subtitled language and spouting faux-profound aphorisms like "things which can be broken must be broken!"
On top of this heady mishmash of genre staples there's a nifty overarching conceit, taken from the comic on which 30 Days is based -- the location of the carnage is a remote town in Seward's Folly, where the sun doesn't shine for a full month. (Why did it take vampires so long to hear about this place? And mightn' it have been more interesting if all the world's vampires came gunning for this place, instead of a handful? But that's neither here nor there.) The vamps that do descend on the snowy Alaskan hamlet must go head to head with two pretty local cops, played by Josh Hartnett and Melissa George, and one of the best things about 30 Days is that it acknowledges straightaway that the humans are physically no match for the vampires. Those who survive the initial assault must scramble into hiding places to save their necks and what follows is a sort of 'Anne Frank vampire film', with Hartnett and George and a ragtag group holing up in an abandoned attic and waiting for the vamp patrols to move on.