30 Days of Night: Dark Days opens where we left off at the end of 30 Days Of Night
, except the character Stella Oleson (Josh Hartnett's wife from the first instalment originally played by Melissa George) has been recast and filled by Kiele Sanchez (A Perfect Getaway
). Nearly 10 months on from the atrocities that happened in Barrow, no-one will believe that it was anything but a pipeline fire despite Stella touring the country and giving talks, desperately trying to raise awareness of the vampire society lurking in the shadows. When she stumbles across a group of vampire-hunters (Harold Perrineau from Lost
among them) who have all lost someone close to them to vampires, they set about taking down the queen vampire who's been pulling all the strings, Lilith.
Initially I was excited to learn that there was a sequel, then a little disappointed when I heard none of the original cast had signed up, then a whole lot more disappointed when I discovered it was a straight-to-DVD release...
Resultantly, Dark Days (DD) leans heavily on it's bigger-budgeted forebear, borrowing entire sequences from the original film and laying them in the stereotypical 'nightmare' sequence, ending with the protagonist waking up sweating and gasping for air. This cliché can be forgiven if it has any bearing on the current story, but it doesn't. As a result it seems like the director Ben Ketai just wanted a few moments of the film to have the production values of a hollywood release.
The fight sequences just seem to be someone throwing a torch beam around in a darkened room whilst the effects team let off blanks randomly. Although I will say some of the deaths are pretty grizzly; one scene involving a breeze block might hit the eject button on your stomach contents. DD just doesn't deliver anywhere near the same level of tension or horror that the original did and would be laughed all the way into the bargain bin of some online-retailer were it not for the title it hides behind.
Extra content; there's a 'making of' featurette narrated by Ben Ketai, an audio commentary to overlay the film and a few trailers. It's nothing new or original and fails to add anything to the experience.
If you're a vampire fan then you will enjoy this, it's not particularly terrifying and can't hold a candle to the original, despite this it has it's moments.