by Anthony King
When I was a senior in high school, I moved my bedroom to the basement. Where we lived – the suburbs of the suburbs – we didn't have sidewalks or streetlights, so at night it would get very dark. In the back of our half-acre yard were a line of pine trees, and the only time you could see anything back there would be during a full moon or a thunderstorm with lots of lightning. As soon as I started sleeping in the basement, a recurring nightmare haunted me night after night. In the nightmare, a thunderstorm wakes me up. I walk over to the open window that looks out into the backyard, and during a flash of lightning I see the silhouette of a person standing along the treeline in the very back of the yard. Every time the lightning flashes, the figure gets closer and closer, until finally I'm standing face to face with a man dressed as a clown from Pagliacci, eyes completely black with only a window screen separating us. During one of the dark moments, the clown says, “I've come for you,” in a very kind, matter-of-fact way. Then the lightning flashes one last time and all I see are razor-sharp teeth as he jumps through the screen.
Then I wake up. Every. Single. Time. I had that dream from when I was 17 until I was almost 30. Multiple times a week. “What does this have to do with a review of 30 Days of Night?” you're asking. I started having this dream in 1999. When I saw 30 Days on opening night in 2007, I nearly shit my pants when I realized the clown in my dream looked exactly like Danny Huston's vampire except in the clown get up. I saw this figure in my dreams eight years before I saw him on screen!
Strange occurrences start to pop up after the sun has set, and Eben suspects the Stranger is involved. Soon the power goes down, generators are disconnected, and the town is thrown into chaos. The Stranger is revealed to be the “familiar” for a crew of vampires led by Marlow (Huston). As the vampires commence their grisly attacks, a small group of survivors congregate and shuffle incognito from structure to structure to avoid becoming dinner themselves. For 30 days, the number of survivors dwindles at a rate much faster than the vampires', and we're left with a final showdown between Eben and Marlow.