This one kind of feels like a missed opportunity, due to a certain basic lack of filmmaking competency, and it's kind of shocking to realize that Sam Raimi's Ghost House Productions has now released five horror movies and they've almost all sucked.
Quick plot synopsis: a band of vampires descends upon the town of Barrow, Alaska, which is above the Arctic Circle and thus dark for 30 days in the middle of Winter. For some unexplained reason, nobody in the rest of the world seems to think it's strange that they suddenly lose contact with an entire town of people for a month, which means Sheriff Josh Hartnett and estranged wife Melissa George have to fight them off.
The biggest problem with this movie is simple narrative disjointedness. The story stops and starts, nothing flows together, we don't really get to know any of the characters beyond the headlining three or four. It feels like there may have been a longer cut with more character beats (like showing how the residents of Barrow spend their time in-between story beats, eating canned food and being cold and miserable in hiding) but these were cut to the bone to make the movie shorter. Bad idea because the story becomes uninvolving and tedious as a result.
The second biggest problem with the movie is casting: Josh Hartnett is stiff and unconvincing as always, and only Danny Huston (who's great) really seems suited for his role, as the feral leader of the pack of vampires (correction: Mark Boone Junior is pretty good too). Ben Foster officially crosses the line, for me, from 'interesting' to 'annoying' with his performance in this movie.
The final major problem is basic directing: wayyy too much of this movie is shot in close-up, a standard problem for inexperienced directors. I also don't care for the overabundance of digital mattes and fake snow, especially after seeing the real thing not long ago in The Last Winter - standard Hollywood insistence on comfort over detailed realism. Lastly, the movie's ending is a ripoff of the similar, perfectly realized end of Guillermo Del Toro's Blade II.
On the other hand, I do like the make-up and performances of the vampire characters, rendered as vicious and wolf-like (although the one vampire with fake blood on his mouth for most of the movie would surely have wiped his face at some point during the month). Also, the action/gore beats are pretty good, including some pretty vicious vampire killings including (SPOILER!) one nasty little vampire kid whose death will almost certainly be extended in the inevitable director's cut. And I do have a softness for horror movies set in snow, no doubt about it.