David Slade made 30 Days of Night in 2007. It is a flawed movie, with a flawed ending, but it has a few strengths. Firstly, the premise is genius. A group of vampires make their way to Barrow, Alaska where, during the winter, there are 30 days of night. Why didn’t I think of that? Of course they would!
The film’s other strength is how Slade represents vampires. There are so many versions to choose from (the aristocratic lover, the decrepit undead, the demonic entity), but Slade chooses to emphasize a vampire’s wolf-like nature. The vampire clan in 30 Days of Night is intelligent, even a little stylish, but they are also like a pack of wolves, hunting down, surrounding, and brutally killing their prey.
The best scene in the film is when Denise, an innocent young teen, wanders out into the freezing cold streets and calls out for someone, anyone to help her. The people who have hidden away behind their shutters hear her. The audience sees her wandering the streets alone, like a gazelle that has wandered away from the herd. She should be hunkered down somewhere, keeping absolutely silent, but she has given up hope and just calls out mournfully for anyone to save her. As the viewer, you want to rush over, clamp your hand over her mouth, and spirit her away to a hiding place, but she just keeps on calling.
The vampires find her and surround her. She drops to her knees, too tired to resist her fate, but as Marlow, the lead vampire, kneels down in front of her, she mumbles breathlessly, “Oh please, God.”
Marlow stops and leans forward to look at her. His mouth hangs agape and his blackened eyes open wide. His face is inscrutable. He looks curious, even pensive, but is still profoundly menacing. He ponders her words, and with his rough, wolf-like voice, he repeats, “God?” It sounds a little like a question, a little like a repetition of her tone, and a little sarcastic, but it hovers ambiguously as we strain to predict what will happen next.
Marlow backs off a little and begins to look around in what is now clearly feigned wonder. He looks up at the sky and all around. Then he turns to her with an exaggerated look of sad disappointment and slowly shakes his head. We see her breathless, frightened reaction, and then, when the camera returns to Marlow, he simply says, “No God”, and then gets up, so the other vampires can shred and devour her.
His words are a cold, heartless bit of nihilism that pierces her as surely as the fangs will. The dark, frigid landscape and the vampires' deathly blue-and-grey complexion add to the sense of an indifferent world where the strong prey on the weak. These vampires aren’t narcissistic aristocrats like Bela Lugosi, they are predators simply following their instinct to survive.
If you enjoyed this article you might also enjoy - https://filmofileshideout.com/archives/favorite-scenes-%e2%84%9619-pans-labyrinth/