Misters Frog and Giles walked to the video store* to rent 30 Days of Night for us to watch yesterday. I liked the movie. I haven’t read the comic books on which it is based, though. The premise is quite wonderful. The movie takes place in Barrow, Alaska, the northernmost point of the United States, a town surrounded by wilderness and some eighty miles from the nearest town. Given its extreme northern location, there are periodic stretches of night that last for days. Vampires decide to come wreak destruction on this town during one of these long nights, cutting off all communications and possibilities of escape (killing sled dogs, destroying cell phones, destroying a helicopter, and so on). The movie was quite creepy overall. The vampires are bloody and violent, completely unromanticized. I’m curious about a range of things never really addressed in the movie, though, like what language do they speak (subtitled for us in the movie) and where did the vampires come from. The human side of the movie could’ve been more fully explored. Faced with a horrible situation in which surviving seems nearly impossible, the small band of people struggle with individual versus collective survival. There’s one moment in which the alpha male vampire (pictured above) makes this provocative statement about how humans destroy themselves when faced with situations they cannot control, but the movie doesn’t really push that insight much. There’s also a lot that could be thought through regarding gender roles, not least of which is the whole alpha male-led vampire pack (and analogously structured human group with the sheriff as a leader of the survivors). At the center of the human story is this unexplained rift between the sheriff and his wife who is, at the last minute, stranded in town for the 30-day period though she had planned on leaving again.
* We used to have a very convenient video store, a local chain called Home Video, three blocks from home. It closed a little while back, though. Now, our closest video store is the Blockbuster about a 30-minute walk away (still just a quick drive, at least).
Still feeling under the weather. Probably not going to drag myself to the undergraduate English conference later this afternoon….
Incarceration rates are even higher for some groups. One in 36 Hispanic adults is behind bars, based on Justice Department figures for 2006. One in 15 black adults is, too, as is one in nine black men between the ages of 20 and 34.