Back when I was a youth worker, I had a lot of free time during the day when everyone else was working. That brought its challenges, but one of the advantages (and I’ll rank it second only after the 9 a.m. alarm) was that it allowed me to indulge one of my weaknesses: cinema.

I took advantage of our local multiplex’s subscription scheme — a tenner a month for as many showings as you wanted — and took in at least one film most weeks, and often two, three or four. It was great. I don’t really get to do that anymore. These days my time is flexible, but I don’t regularly have an afternoon clear to sit in a darkened room with one or two other people (daytime audiences being generally small) simply for the pleasure of it.

But I’m in the midst of a very busy spell that is scattering my work all over the clock, which allowed me to clear a couple of hours this afternoon to briefly return to my old pattern with another indulgence: daft horror films.

30 Days Of Night is vampires mixed up with a hint of Romero zombie. I’ve been enjoying vampire stories since I discovered Anne Rice as a teenager, but none of the recent films have been great. This one isn’t wonderful, either, but it is a little different.

There’s not much in the way of tension, but in between the fights and blood (it’s pretty graphic) it asks a few questions about attitudes to life and suffering which I wasn’t expecting to find here — mainly through the efficiently drawn vampire characters who are arrogant, confident, hopeless and a little despairing (“No hope. Only pain. Only hunger.”), all at once.

It’s not what you’d call high art, and it’s a typical contemporary ‘horror’ in that there’s way more splatter than scare, but there’s just a little bit of depth here that caught me off guard. Interesting, and I’ll now need to track down the graphic novels it’s drawn from and see what else is there.

NaBloPoMo participant