15 Fun Facts About “30 Days of Night”

There’s long been a debate among genre fans as to whether or not vampires should be romantic and sexy or monstrous and terrifying.  The late 00s/early 10s saw a boom of the former with franchises like Twilight and TV shows like The Vampire Diaries.  But once such piece of vampire media that kept the grotesque, monstrous approach was 2007’s 30 Days of Night.

Set in northern Alaska where the sun truly disappears for 30 days in the winter, it seemed the prime location to set a vampire horror film.  It’s an often overlooked vampire movie that’s solid in its creepy atmosphere and makes for a perfect horror film to put on when it’s snowing.  So in honor of its 15th anniversary today, here are 15 fun facts about 30 Days of Night!

1. Before writing the graphic novel upon which the movie is based, Steve Niles had pitched “30 Days of Night” as a film, but was turned down.  He then wrote the graphic novel and eventually it was adapted.

2. The script itself went through several rounds of rewrites for nearly 5 years before production actually began.

3. Initially, Sam Raimi was attached to direct, but ultimately wound up just producing.

4. The town featured in the movie Barrow, Alaska is a real place and is the northernmost town in the United States.  The houses there really are built two feet off the ground so that the heating in the house doesn’t melt the permafrost.

30 Days of Night 3
Barrow, Alaska remains in the dark from November until January every year!

5. Despite being set in Alaska, the entire film was shot in New Zealand.

6. The language spoken by the vampires in the movie was completely original and created by a linguistics professor from the University of Auckland, hired by the production.

30 Days of Night 6
Giving them their own unique language really enriched the whole mythology and reinforced that they were ancient creatures.

7. To avoid constant night shoots, many of the night time scenes were filmed during the day, using day-for-night effects.

8. Salt was mostly used instead of snow since it was the off season while filming.

9. For two weeks during production, Josh Hartnett was sick with mono.

30 Days of Night 9
The show must go on, as they say.

10. Opened at #1 at the box office and wound up grossing $75 million on a $30 million budget.  The following week however, it was knocked down to #3 by Saw IV.

11. 30 Days of Night was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Horror Film and Best Makeup, but lost to Sweeney Todd and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, respectively.

12. Received mixed to positive reviews with many critics praising the atmosphere and Danny Huston’s performance as the vampire leader, but criticizing the plot.

30 Days of Night 12
Danny Huston strikes a perfect balance of sophisticated and savage.

13. The film adaptation received some criticism for “white washing” the male lead with the casting of Josh Hartnett.  In the source graphic novel, the character of Eben is Inuk.

14. Spawned two miniseries on FEARnet, Blood Trails (a prequel) and Dust to Dust (a sequel), as well as a direct to DVD sequel movie 30 Days of Night: Dark Days in 2010.

15. After directing 30 Days of Night, David Slade would go on to direct another vampire movie, albeit a very different one in tone, Twilight Saga: Eclipse.

30 Days of Night 15
Very different vampire movie…

Which of these did you already know?  Which ones surprised you?  Let us know in the comments!

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