What Is the "30 Days of Night" Movie About?

by Ken White

"30 Days of Night" describes a vampire attack on a small town in Alaska.

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The movie "30 Days of Night" is based on a three-issue graphic novel series of the same name, about a vampire attack on a small town. It was written by Steve Niles and illustrated by Ben Templesmith. In 2007, the story was made into a movie starring Josh Hartnett, Melissa George and Danny Huston. Niles co-wrote the screenplay for the film.


The residents of the small Alaskan town of Barrow, above the Arctic Circle, experience a month of night every winter. As the residents prepare for 30 days of darkness, Sheriff Eben Oleson, played by Hartnett, learns that his estranged wife Stella, a fire marshal played by Melissa George, has missed the last plane out of Barrow after an accident. As the husband and wife arrest and jail a stranger who gives vague, sinister warnings, the town's telecommunications center is overrun and sabotaged by vampires and the town is cut off from the outside world. Then the slaughter begins.


The vampires, led by Marlow, played by Huston, begin by snatching people from homes on the outer edge of town, feeding on them and then moving on. When Sheriff Oleson realizes that computer and phone service is down, he drives to the telecommunications center, finds the sabotage and the body of the center's operator, and realizes what is happening. For the next three weeks, Oleson, his wife and a slowly shrinking group of survivors fight back when they can and hide as Marlow leads the vampires from house to house, killing every human they find.

Sacrifice (Spoiler)

The survivors know that the only thing that can save them is the sunrise. Marlow and his diminished band of vampires know of the coming daylight, too, and begin to burn the town to the ground to hide the massacre of the inhabitants. Oleson realizes that if the vampires escape, they will go underground and reappear the next year in another small town above the Arctic Circle. He injects himself with the blood of a vampire, then faces off against Marlow. With his increased vampire strength, Oleson is able to kill Marlow, and the remnants of the vampires' group scatters. Oleson and his wife stand together, waiting for the sunrise that will kill him.


The film was followed by three sequels: "30 Days of Night: Blood Trails," "30 Days of Night: Dust to Dust" and "30 Days of Night: Dark Days." "Blood Trails" and "Dust to Dust" were presented as a web series on Fearnet.com, and follow the New Orleans storyline that was in the original graphic novel but not in the movie. "Blood Trails" takes place days before the events in Barrow, while "Dust to Dust" takes place a month after. "Dark Days" is a direct-to-video sequel that follows Stella Oleson to Los Angeles to take revenge on the vampire queen, Lilith, who planned the attack on Barrow that killed her husband.

About the Author

Ken White began his writing career in 1972 as a reporter for a local Florida newspaper. With a career in public safety as a police officer, firefighter and emergency manager, his fiction has also been published in magazines such as "Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine." White studied history and psychology at Mercer University.

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