In the secluded town of Barrow, Alaska above the Arctic Circle, the sun sets and doesn’t rise for over 30 consecutive days and nights. Barrow, it seems, is the perfect setting for hungry vampires eager for a bloodfest, or feast, as it were. Because as every fan of vampire lore knows, the undead bloodsuckers cannot tolerate sunlight.

Thirty days straight of vampires feeding without having to rest during daylight hours is truly a horrifying concept. Frozen wasteland, blood spattering on snow, injecting vile vampire blood – all concepts from the darkly fertile mind of Steve Niles, who wrote the graphic novel and is the screenwriter for the film.

The only hope for Barrow lies in the sheriff and deputy, the husband and wife team of Eben and Stella Oleson (Josh Hartnett and Melissa George). Eben and Stella start out estranged but rediscover their love as they face the common enemy.

These are not the sexy vampires from films like The Lost Boys and Interview with the Vampire. These monsters are savage killers, who enjoy torturing their victims. It’s not just about feeding. They are evil personified.

The film is brutal, gory and very violent; it’s all accomplished with the same harsh but grimly beautiful palette and flare that artist Ben Templesmith brought to Niles’ comic. Much credit goes to director David Slade, who captures and perhaps even transcends the menace, fear and pace of the graphic novel.

Grade: A 30 Days of Night is currently in theaters.