Thursday, April 23, 2009

I got a sickness, sweet as a love note

Among genre fiction, vampire fiction sometimes get a better reputation than others. This is due to the common understanding that there is a subtext of sex, power, disease or other social issues lying beneath the stories. Vampires can even be grafted into other genres, as seen in Charlie Huston's Joe Pitt series, which is really noir social criticism. If you like noir and vampires, you need those books. I limit myself to one of his books every few months so that the pleasure of reading them doesn't end too quickly.

Sometimes though, vampire stories are just tales with really nasty monsters. 30 Days of Night was a graphic novel (since followed by sequels and stories set in its universe) that told of a tribe of vampires descending onto an Alaskan town in sunless depths of winter. I thought it was good enough to read some more, but not the best thing I have ever read.

Perhaps my moderate expectations helped here, but I thought the film version was a decent bit of bloody, violent entertainment. The violence in the comic was so stylized that the victims seemed a bit faceless. Here the cruelty and wickedness of the vampires is emphasized and the film is more frightening for it. The longer build-up and the plight of the initial survivors gives the film quite a bit more tension than the comic. There are a few changes of note from the graphic novel, but readers of the comic shouldn't expect great shocks.

1 comment:

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