A Simple Plan (1998 116min.) [BBC2 1.05am saturday]
Thriller from the director of Spider-Man, starring Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thornton and Bridget Fonda. Three men are out in the woods when they discover a crashed plane that contains a dead pilot and over $4 million in cash. They decide to steal the money, but their plan soon begins to backfire.
Sam Raimi directs with a totally different approach to that which he used for the Evil Dead or Spiderman films - rather the frantic pace and big set-pieces of those works he opts to create mood and tension through the use of slow camera moves and the atmospheric backdrop of a snow covered Minnesota backwoods town.
Paxton, Thornton and Fonda are all excellent in this elegant and suspense filled thriller.
A fitting tribute to the recently deceased Bill Paxton.
30 Days Of Night (2007 108min.) [Ch4 12.45am saturday &+1]
Horror thriller starring Josh Hartnett and Melissa George. Each year, the small Alaskan community of Barrow is plunged into a month-long period of total darkness when the sun sinks below the horizon. But this year the residents have an added problem when a group of vampires descends on the town, intent on using the extended night for an orgy of uninterrupted blood-sucking.
The (rather clever) premise is that a small Alaskan town inside the Arctic Circle is plunged into 30 days of continuous night once a year. During that time a tribe of nomadic neo-vampires come to stay and, unhindered by problems of daylight, set about laying waste to the town.
A small group of survivors led by Josh Hartnett and Melissa George (both excellent) then attempt to make it through to the end of the month and the return of the sun.
Some very suspensful moments and well-directed throughout. Thoroughly recommend, possibly the best vampire move since Bigelow's "Near Dark" (1987) and got Slade the gig directing the second "Twlight" film.