Reviewer's grade: A-
"Spider-Man" director Sam Raimi started up Ghost House Pictures as a shingle for scary movies. After a consistently underwhelming slate that has included "The Grudge," "The Grudge 2," "Boogeyman" and "The Messengers," he finally delivers — and big — with "30 Days of Night," based on the same-named graphic novel. Josh Hartnett — like you've never seen him before (i.e., good) — plays the sheriff to Alaska's northernmost tiny town, one that becomes an extended, all-you-can-eat buffet for a team of vampires when the sun goes down for four whole weeks.
Following up the psychological thriller "Hard Candy," director David Slade proves himself as possessing a terrific eye for visuals and a skilled knack for building intensity. Sharp where other horror films are dull and smart where they're stupid, "30 Days" establishes itself as a remarkably good two hours of shocks and suspense. It's one of the best vampire films ever made, and certain to be a perennial Halloween favorite.