30 Days Of Night

Featured In Issue 130, April 2008

WSR Score3
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
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For strong horror violence and language
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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David Slade
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Dolby TrueHD 5.1
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Located far north of the Arctic Circle, Barrow, Alaska experiences "30 Days Of Night," a natural phenomenon that occurs each winter. From the darkness, across the frozen tundra, an evil will come to Barrow that will bring the town's residents to their knees. A group of maniacal vampires takes control of the remote Arctic town, feasting at will on the terrified townsfolk. The only hope for Barrow is the sheriff (Hartnett) and his wife, the deputy (George), who are torn between their own survival and saving the town they love. Based on the graphic novel by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith. (Stacey Pendry)

Special features include the following featurettes: Pre-Production (eight minutes), Building Barrow (four minutes), The Look (six minutes), Blood, Guts And Nasty #@$&! (six minutes), Stunts (six minutes), The Vampire (five minutes), Night Shoots (five minutes), and Casting (nine minutes); a 30 Images Of Night storyboarded slide show; an episode of the anime T.V. series Blood+ (21 minutes); a commentary track by cast and crew; and previews.

The anamorphically enhanced 2.40:1 DVD has a cold, desaturated look that matches the storytelling nicely. Resolution is well rendered, with fine textures nicely detailed. Even with the desaturated colors, fleshtones look fairly natural. Black levels aren't as deep as they should be, causing many of the darker scenes to look flat and hazy. Shadow delineation is still decent, with details in the darker portions of the image still recognizable. Occasional posteration can be recognized. The image can look overly noisy at times, with an inconsistency that makes me believe it isn't just film grain. Edge enhancement can be noticed on higher contrast transitions, but it is isn't always a distraction. The Blu-ray Disc's H.264 AVC encoding shows fantastic resolution, with highly detailed images. Black levels are deep, but there are times when they can look slightly hazy. Occasionally the picture can still look too noisy, but the desaturated colors help give the picture a stark, but dimensional image. (Danny Richelieu)

The Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack features a very low noise floor with very good dynamic range, which allows even the most quiescent effects in the sound design to be discernable throughout. Dialogue generally sounds too forward and bright, and it often can be shrouded with heavy shuffling distortion. The mix favors the front three screen channels for much of the presentation, but there are times when the soundtrack can be very engaging with a good use of each channel. In scenes without much action, though, atmospheric effects are limited to the front stage, which really limits their effectiveness, no matter how natural they sound. The soundtrack features incredibly deep and tight bass delivered through each of the channels, including the LFE channel. While it can be entertaining, the soundtrack has many problems. The Blu-ray Disc's lossless Dolby TrueHD encoding can sound superb, with wonderful fidelity, but there are still times when the shuffling distortion can be heard. Dynamic range is impressive, but the dialogue still can sound overly forward. Occasionally a clipping distortion can be heard as well. (Danny Richelieu)