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Barrow, Alaska is the northernmost part of the United States, and the town experiences 30 days of night each year. The film begins with The Stranger (Ben Foster) walking away from a big ship in the frozen water. He slowly walks through the snow until he comes across Barrow, his destination. This is the last day of sunlight. Sheriff Eben Oleson (Josh Hartnett) and fellow police officer Billy Kitka (Manu Bennett) stand in the snow and look down at what lays in front of them a hole filled with the townspeople’s cell phones burnt to a crisp. Billy guesses that maybe it was some kids pulling a prank, but Eben figures that they would’ve left a note or something. Eben still has his cell phone though, and the two watch the last sunset together, overlooking the sea. They joke about Billy’s wife, and it becomes clear that Eben is estranged from his own wife. They drive to the town’s sign and Billy marks down that there are 152 residents staying for the month while Eben uses his asthma inhaler in the car. Families say goodbye to their loved ones as they head on out to catch the last plane out at the airport. Elsewhere, a bunch of dogs start barking, and all the animals are stabbed to death by The Stranger. Police officer Stella Oleson (Melissa George), Eben’s wife, finishes her inventory of the supplies left before she too makes her way to the airport for the last flight. While driving back to the police station, Eben and Billy come across Beau (Mark Boone Junior), who’s fixing his truck. Some oil from the back spills out onto the street, and Eben writes him a ticket for it. Beau tries to talk his way out of it, but Eben still gives it to him. As they drive off, Billy tells Eben that he could’ve just let it go, but Eben says that since Beau lives the furthest from everybody in town, he gave him the ticket to remind him that he’s still part of the town.
Stella speeds off in the snow towards the airport when she’s suddenly hit from the side by a tractor with drills in the front, which totals her car. The tractor driver makes sure she’s okay, but she tells him that she needs to make it to the airport. He says that his mother can come out and tow her there, but it won’t be fast. Eben drops Billy off at the station and is about to leave when he gets a call from Stella. He answers, and they awkwardly talk to each other. She tells him the situation she’s in, and asks if he can pick her up and give her a lift to the airport. They haven’t talked in a while, but they can do so while he drives her. Eben can’t, since he just got an urgent call, but he gets Billy to head out to where Stella is. Eben goes to the Riis household, where John (Peter Feeney) and Ally (Min Windle) are upset upon finding that all the sled dogs have been viciously killed. Eben asks John if maybe he got in a fight recently and pissed someone off, but he hasn’t. He notices that the dogs were killed recently, and promises to find whoever’s responsible. Eben goes back to the police station, where his little brother Jake (Mark Rendall) passes the dull time by playing a game. He tries to get his grandmother Helen (Elizabeth McRae) to play with him, then tries to get Eben to play with him. They both decline, and then Eben notices a bag of pot in a drawer. He asks Jake about it, but Helen confesses that it’s hers. She uses it for medicine, and has been growing her own supply in her house.
Billy picks up Stella and they drive out to the airport, but find that she has missed the last flight. Now that she’s stuck there for the month, she doesn’t know where she’s going to stay. Billy offers to let her stay with his family, and maybe they can figure out what went wrong with her relationship with Eben. Speaking of which, Eben is called out to a factory by Carter Davies (Nathaniel Lees) and Wilson Bulosan (Craig Hall). When he gets there, they show him that Wilson’s helicopter has been destroyed piece by piece and fed into a grinder. They don’t understand why anyone would do that. At the power plant, Gus Lambert (Grant Tilly) hears strange screeches coming from outside, and so he goes to investigate. Dark figures circle around him, and then they savagely rip his throat open. The Stranger is seen at the diner, where he asks the owner Lucy Ikos (Elizabeth Hawthorne) for alcohol. She says that they don’t have any, due to the month of darkness. He then asks for a raw hamburger, but she tells him that the patties are frozen. He gets pissed and grabs her arm, but then Eben walks in and tells him to release Lucy. He does, and then Eben sits down at the counter next to the Stranger. He tells him that they should go outside to talk, but the Stranger won’t move. Eben says that he’ll force him to go outside, and the Stranger gets up and dares him to try. Stella aims her gun at the back of his head and tells him to cooperate. The Stranger turns around and tries to lunge at her, but Eben pins him down at the counter and handcuffs him. They put him in the back of Eben’s truck and drive him to the police station.
While in jail, Eben asks the Stranger how he got there, since they would’ve seen him before if he traveled there by plane, and he’s not from around there. The Stranger remains silent. Eben figures that they have plenty of time to talk, since no one’s coming for him, and he’s stuck there for the month. The Stranger then begins to talk about how they’re all helpless against what’s coming. Stella says that he’s just trying to freak them out, and Jake says that it’s working. Eben decides to go check on Gus, and the Stranger tells them to do so. He also tells them to board the windows, to try to hide, but they’re coming regardless. Eben asks him who “they” are, and then the power goes out for the entire town. The back-up generators kick in, and Eben decides to go by himself to check on Gus. When Eben goes to the power plant, he sees that the door is busted open. He grabs his pistol and advances until something catches his eye in the snow. It’s blood, and a lot of it. Eben follows the blood trail and finds Gus’ severed head impaled on a pole. Eben freaks out and drives to the main street of the town, telling everyone to go to their homes and get out their guns. For those who don’t have generators, he tells them to go to Lucy’s diner and wait there.
Stella, Helen, and Jake play a board game while the Stranger stands up and speaks ominously. He says that the cold they’re feeling isn’t the weather, but death approaching. He also makes mention that he’s going to be rewarded for helping “them”. Jake tries to get him to shut up and throws a piece of the game at him. The Stranger says that he shouldn’t have done that, since he can now use the piece to pick apart the lock. Jake runs to retrieve the piece from the cell, but the Stranger grabs his throat and squeezes when Eben suddenly shoots him in the arm. Jake is released, and Eben handcuffs the Stranger to the cell, so that his back is to them and he’s facing the wall. He gets out the first aid kit, but Helen says that the doctor should examine him. Since he just tried to choke Jake, Eben decides to let the Stranger just bleed while they figure out what to do. He says that he’s going to try and get help, and Stella volunteers to come with him. They leave Helen and Jake at the police station, who are armed only with a stun gun in case the Stranger tries to do anything. As they drive through the snow, Eben suddenly has Stella stop the car. He gets out and walks out to the front of the car. He saw something up ahead of them, and when Stella looks through some binoculars she tells Eben to get back into the car. They pull into reverse and speed back towards town when a vampire runs on top of the car and begins to smash the roof with his hands. Eben shoots him through the roof, but the bullets have hardly any effect on him. Stella slams on the brakes and the vampire is launched from the roof.
John nervously sits by his rifle while Ally tries to get him to eat dinner in the kitchen. Suddenly, a vampire bursts through the window and hides in back of the table. John runs into the kitchen and sees Ally being forcibly pulled from the window. She’s pulled outside and underneath their home. John tries to hold onto her, but she’s pulled from him. He continues to follow her, but the vampire breaks his leg and slashes his face before pulling Ally away for good. At the oil factory, three workers get off of work. Aaron (Jared Turner) and Gabe (Kelson Henderson) argue over which house they’re going to. Denise (Amber Sainsbury) says that neither of them is going to get her alone, and then they joke about a threesome. While playing rock paper scissors, Gabe is grabbed by a vampire and disappears into the darkness. Aaron and Denise freak out, and then Gabe’s body falls down next to them with his throat ripped open. Denise runs away while Aaron stands there in shock, not noticing the vampires emerging behind him. Eben and Stella hear Helen screaming over the radio, and so they speed off to the police station. Jake and Helen are missing, and there’s a lot of blood in the corner. The Stranger remains handcuffed to the jail cell, and gets upset. He says that the vampires didn’t take him, and he urges Eben to kill him. He doesn’t, and instead he and Stella head off towards the main street.
Elsewhere, we see the vampire leader Marlow (Danny Huston) and Iris (Megan Franich) attacking a couple in their home. The man shoots Marlow in the chest, but it has no effect on him. Marlow impales the man to the wall with a fire poker, and Iris viciously rips into the woman’s throat. For fun, Marlow spins around a record and runs his bloody fingernail on it. Later on, as Eben and Stella drive to the main street, they see an overturned car on fire. Marlow tells his fellow vampires to tear off the heads of their victims, because he doesn’t want their food to become vampires as well. Denise runs to Lucy’s diner along with Carter, Wilson, Wilson’s father Isaac (Chic Littlewood), Jake, and Lucy. Vampires grab the back of the police truck and begin to raise it vertically. Eben blows the head off of a vampire, but Marlow takes his gun away and then the vampires flip the truck over. The vampires go on a killing frenzy, pulling people out of their homes and slaughtering anyone who comes into their path. They start to pull Eben and Stella out of the truck when Beau uses his tractor to crush a couple of vamps. Eben and Stella get into the tractor and they head off to the diner. When they arrive, Jake tells Eben that he watched as the vampires killed Helen. They can’t stay in the diner, so they plan to go to a resident’s house that has a hidden attic. Eben, Stella, Beau, Jake, Denise, Carter, Wilson, Issac, Lucy, and Doug Hertz (Joel Tobeck) go to the house and pull down the ladder to the attic. For now, they will sleep in shifts and ration the food they have. Marlow goes to the police station and enters the Stranger’s cell, who weeps upon seeing Marlow. He tells him that he’s done a good job, and then breaks the Stranger’s neck.
Day 7 Eben starts to grow a beard and Doug starts to get restless. He doesn’t want to just wait there until the vampires find him and he begins to make a lot of noise. Jake tries to get him to calm down, and Doug starts to fight with Eben. They are pulled off each other, and Eben says that fighting will get them killed a lot quicker. For now, all they have to do is keep quiet and lay low. However, Eben also realizes that they can’t remain in the attic. He plans on getting to the police station so that they can get some weapons. Eben goes outside with a pistol and cautiously moves around town. He hears someone calling out his name, and then he sees John hiding underneath a house. Eben makes his way to John and asks him how long he’s been hiding there. He doesn’t remember, and says that his leg is hurt. Eben helps him get up and John says that he’s so hungry. Eben is startled to see that John’s eyes are dark and his teeth are pointy. John gets Eben to continue to help him, but he can’t resist trying to bite him. Eben pushes him off and aims his gun at him. John knocks the gun away and attacks him, but winds up getting tangled up in a swing set. Eben grabs a nearby axe and hacks away at his neck until John’s decapitated. Eben goes back to the house where the survivors are and collapses inside. He has an asthma attack, and he lost his inhaler in the fight with John. Stella and Beau bring him up to the attic and calm him down. Also, Marlow sees John’s corpse and gets pissed when he sees that he turned into a vampire.
Somewhere along here Kirsten Toomey (Camille Keenan) walks through the streets and screams for help. The survivors see and hear her. Carter says that they should bring her in, but Eben says that she’s being used as bait to lure them out. Eben is right, as they can see the vampires stalking Kirsten on the rooftops. She turns a corner and comes face to face with the vampire Arvin (Andrew Stehlin), who’s bloody face smiles as he sees her. Kirsten tells them that since nobody answered her, the others all must be dead. Marlow approaches her, and she says “no…please…god”. Marlow looks around, and then tells her “no god”. The vampires circle around Kirsten and viciously slash her body with their claws. Arvin then finishes her off by digging into her throat. Eventually, Isaac has had enough of staying in the attic and tries to leave. Wilson and Stella calm him down, and then he goes to the bathroom. Suddenly, they hear a noise coming from inside the bathroom. Wilson tries to open the door, but it’s locked. He unlocks it and finds that the window is open and Isaac is gone. Wilson decides to go outside to look for him, and Stella tries to hold him back. During the struggle, Wilson shoves her off of him and she hits her head hard on a chair. Wilson walks out the front door and searches for Isaac. Eben finds Stella and asks what happened. They hear footsteps, and so they hide in the bathroom. Arvin walks into the house and is about to open the bathroom door when he hears Isaac scream as he is killed. Arvin decides to go back outside to join in on the meal, and shortly afterward Wilson too is feasted upon by the vampires.
The survivors hear noises coming from the roof and think that it’s the vampires, but it’s a snowstorm. Since the vampires won’t be outside, they decide to take this opportunity to travel to the store to get supplies. They all make it to the store and Eben assigns everyone specific things to get (canned food, walkie-talkies, medicine, e.t.c…) as he gets himself another inhaler. As they get the supplies, they hear noises coming from the back and realize that they aren’t alone. They come upon a vampire girl who is digging into someone’s throat. The girl attacks them, scratching Carter’s face in the process. Eben tries to hit her with the axe, but misses due to her being so small. The survivors pin her against the wall and Jake hacks off her head with the axe. They’re all horrified at what just happened, and then the snow storm passes, which causes them to stay in the store.
Day 17 the survivors plan to get to the oil factory, but they’ll never make it since it’s so far away. The police station is closer, and so they aim for that as the next place to go. Also, since Helen grew her own weed using ultraviolet light, they figure that they can use this as a weapon against the vampires. Eben grabs the axe and volunteers to be the distraction so that the others can run to the police station. He runs throughout the streets and screams as Marlow watches him from a rooftop. The survivors make a run for it, and Doug is killed by a vampire as the others make it inside. Eben runs to Helen’s house and starts up her generator, then grabs her ultraviolet lights. The vampires come to Helen’s, and Marlow gives Iris the okay to enter. When she opens the door, Eben burns her body with the UV lights. He tells Stella via walkie-talkie that the lights worked, but then the vampires destroy the generator. Beau volunteers himself to be a distraction so that Eben can make it to the police station. He gets in his tractor and attacks the vampires with it, cutting many with the spinning blades on the front. He also blows some heads off with his shotgun, and when a vampire tries to break through the windshield Beau shoots him in the chest, which causes him to fall into the blades (which cut him into pieces). Some vampires jump on the back of the tractor and fall into bear traps he set up. Eben makes it inside the police station, and Beau winds up crashing his tractor into a building. He tries to go out shooting, but his shotgun is out of ammo. The vampires start to break into the building, and he tells them that they won’t eat him. Beau lights up a flare and drops it into a box of dynamite, which causes the building to explode. Some vampires are blown up and set on fire. Unfortunately, Beau is still alive after the blast and Marlow crushes his head by stomping on it with his foot.
Marlow tries to comfort the severely burnt Iris, but there’s nothing he can do for her. He asks her if she understands, and she says that she does. Marlow then finishes her off to ease her pain. Inside the police station, there’s a blood trail leading from the Stranger’s cell, but his body is gone. The survivors decide to stay there for a while, and then Carter reveals that he was scratched by the vampire girl. He removes his hood and shows that he’s turning into a vampire. He wants to die though, since his family was killed by a drunk driver and he’s all alone now. He knows that his family is waiting for him, and he doesn’t want to live forever as a vampire. He begs Eben to kill him. Carter takes off his coat and walks into another room. Eben follows with the axe, shuts the door, and decapitates Carter.
Day 27 Eben, Stella, Jake, Denise, and Lucy are all that’s left. While staring outside, Eben sees a light coming from Billy’s house. Eben shines his flashlight and Billy responds with his light. Eben and Stella decide to go to Billy’s. They find him upstairs with a wounded leg. Eben asks where his family is, and then sees that they are all laid out on the bed with a sheet covering their bodies. Billy didn’t want his family to suffer at the hands of the vampires, and so he killed his wife and kids. He tried to shoot himself, but his gun jammed on him. Eben and Stella help Billy get to the police station, and find that Jake and the women are gone. Eben figures that they must’ve made their way to the oil factory, and so he decides to go there on his own. He searches and finds the others, telling Jake that he did well in leading them there. Billy also decides to go on his own to the factory, but Arvin follows him inside. Eben tries to call Stella on the walkie-talkie but she doesn’t respond. The survivors hear Billy inside, and then they are all attacked by Arvin. Due to being stronger than everyone else, Arvin beats the crap out of everyone and bites Billy. He then gets ready to bite Eben when Billy throws Arvin into the grinder, cutting him into pieces. However, when he pushed Arvin into the grinder, Billy’s arm was also severed. He screams in pain as the bone sticks out from his flesh, and then his screams turn into screeches. Billy turns into a vampire, and Eben decapitates him with the axe.
As time passes, Eben repeatedly tries to communicate with Stella but there’s no response. Finally, she communicates with him. She is hiding underneath a car with Gail Robbins, who is a child that she found wandering the streets while soaked with blood. They are freezing, but Eben urges her to hang on, since tomorrow the sun will come up again. He promises that they’ll be together at sunrise. Eben then sees several vampires lurking around the car. Marlow tells the remaining vampires that it took them several years to fade into obscurity and just be thought of as nightmares. The rest of the world can never know that they really exist, and so he urges the vampires to find and kill off the remaining survivors. Denise then sees that they have broke into the oil pipe line, which causes the streets to be filled with oil. Marlow lights a match and drops it in the oil, setting the streets on fire. Eben realizes that if Stella and Gail run, they’ll be killed by the vampires. If they stay, they’ll burn to death. Eben then comes up with an idea and walks down to where Billy’s corpse is. Eben grabs a needle and extracts Billy’s infected blood into it. He hugs Jake one last time and tells him that once all the vampires are looking at him, tell Stella to make a run for it. Eben then injects himself with Billy’s blood, and he fights off the transformation the best he can. Denise and Lucy debate whether they should kill Eben right now, since he’ll lose control soon. Jake tells them to leave him alone and let him carry out his plan. Eben’s eyes turn black, and he walks out of the factory.
Eben painfully transforms into a vampire and walks out into the middle of the street. All the vampires turn their attention to him, and so Jake tells Stella to run. Eben lunges at Marlow and punches him in the face. Marlow is more experienced at being a vampire though, and beats the crap out of Eben. He breaks Eben’s hand and kicks him in the face repeatedly, causing him to lose some teeth. Marlow also smashes Eben’s body against a nearby car. Eben doesn’t die though, and as Marlow lunges at him Eben punches his arm through Marlow’s head, killing him. However, in the process Eben’s hand was severed by Marlow’s teeth. He looks at the remaining vampires, but they walk away. Stella sees that Eben is a vampire and gets emotional. Eben asks if he should go after the remaining vampires, but she tells him to stay. Jake, Denise, Lucy, and Gail come out from hiding as the town burns, as well as several other hidden survivors.
Eben and Stella go to the spot where he saw his last sunset and hold each other close. Eben kisses Stella one last time, and then they hug each other. The film ends with the sun rising, which painfully kills Eben, and Stella holding onto his body as she stares off into the sun.
*CUT TO THE CHASE*
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Eben, the town sheriff realizes that the only way he can save the girl he loves, and defeat the vampires is to become one himself. He injects himself with his infected friend Billy's blood and slowly becomes a vampire himself.
With his new found strength he kills the lead vampire.
The film ends with he and Stella watching the sunrise and he burns up in her arms.
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