Fantastic Fest 2010 Preview: Ben Ketai’s 30 Days of Night – Dark Days

Last week saw the second wave of titles announced for Fantastic Fest, along with some bigger, more recognizable titles for the less hardcore genre audiences.

Essentially being publicly touted as a “direct to video” sequel to it’s predecessor, 30 Days of Night: Dark Days will be getting the full theatrical experience for those lucky enough to attend the Fantastic Fest film festival in Austin next month.

It’s been almost a year since the Alaskan town of Barrow’s population was decimated by vampires during its annual month-long sunset. Riddled with grief over the death of her husband, bound by nightmares and void of all emotions beyond hate and sorrow, Stella (Sanchez) has spent the past months traveling the world, trying to convince others that vampires exist. Met with skepticism and laughter, Stella is ready to throw in the towel when a group of lost souls (Coiro, Baird and Perrineau) offers an incredible opportunity: the chance to exact revenge upon Lilith (Kirshner), the vampire queen responsible for the assault on Stella’s sleepy Alaskan town. With nothing remaining to live for, and nothing left to fear, Stella joins their mission and ventures into the uncharted underbelly of Los Angeles where she pushes herself to the most extreme limits to stop the evil from striking again.

I’m one of the few people I know that actually really dug the first 30 Days of Night, not only for David Slade’s direction, but also for the stylized look of the vampires that translated fairly faithfully from the comics. I also enjoyed Danny Huston’s performance as the lead vampire, as well as Ben Foster’s ultra creepy role as “the Stranger.”

While I won’t be able to catch this film, I’m certainly going to pick it up on Blu-ray when it hits stores, to complete my collection. In an earlier post, I wrote about using these festivals as an opportunity to watch some films that you might not otherwise be able to see in theaters, and while you will be able to see this movie, I’d say that catching this one with an audience will most likely be a blast. If there was ever an audience to watch schlocky direct to video vampire movies with, the genre-philes that will be at the Drafthouse for Fantastic Fest are it.

Check out the trailer for 30 Days Of Night: Dark Days below, and don’t forget to head over to Fantastic Fest’s homepage to order your tickets, or use their handy B-Side Scheduling page to plan out your festival viewings.

As a special treat to those in attendance, Fantastic Fest is looking to bring in the film’s director Ben Ketai, Kiele Sanchez and Steve Niles (co-writer, author).



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