Thursday, 11 October 2018

WATCHING: 30 DAYS OF NIGHT (2007) - His and Hers Halloween Horror

Contains spoilers!

There is romance among the blood and terror. On the edge of the tundra's wilds the small town of Barrow teeters on the edge of civilisation, and the sublime is built into its seasons. Counstable-esque clouds engulf the sky, and the last setting sun for a month is the event you wait for if you want to impress your lover. Within the Arctic Circle things may look harsh, but with the dark days and snow storms there is freedom, and the freedom to live in this unforgiving environment is what makes it worth saving.

Karl Marx was one of the first people to equate vampires with the modern world, removing them from their gothic crutch to their more insidious current analogue. In his Capital, capitalism is the vampire, sucking the blood from desperate workers and child labourers dry, and working days stretching into the night "only slightly quenches the vampire thirst for the living blood of labour." The vampires of 30 Days of Night are like industrialists, seizing an opportunity to exploit an easy target for maximum gain. They even look like business men, 80s Silicon Valley types, impervious to the weather, protected by their self-imposed status.

It's no coincidence that horror started to prevail just as God was dying out. Enlightenment ideas and scientific advancements arose, and Neitzsche declared that "God is dead". The Gothic rose out of the pyre to explain the eerie, the horrible, the fear that prevailed when there was no one to blame it on. The head of the vampires, his guttural tongue speaking jargon to the unknowing, base wants and commands to his follows, questions his victim: "God?" Then, in harsh, curt English, he declares the new truth to this frightened town: "No God."

The vampires easily over-whelm Barrow. The constant dark days allow for easy victimisation, and they wonder why they hadn't thought of it before. They are eventually brought down, ultimately by one of their own; The Sheriff chooses to become a vampire, become the invader, only to stop the invasion. The town is saved, but destroyed. Love is found again, but quickly lost. The long forgotten sun, with no worries to the travails of Barrow, arises like it had been in a deep slumber, stretching it's arms across a sublime landscape, full of life and promise and new beginnings. But a new beginning means something has to end, and Sheriff, protecting his town to the end, flakes away like embers into the day.


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