Tom Russo
May 14, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Horror writer Steve Niles and idiosyncratically scribbly artist Ben Templesmith scored a sleeper hit with their clever 2002 tale of a vampire attack on a darkness-swallowed Alaskan town. In this third installment, the bloodsuckers are back — and Niles has concocted enough fresh suspense to allay any fears that 30 Days of Night is being overfranchised (after the horde of spin-offs, what’s next, fang floss?). Will Barrow’s new sheriff coax the secrets from the frosty Barrow survivors? And what’s with the gory headless vamp? It all plays like the Wachowskis taking on Anne Rice…without all the lame-ass philosophy.

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