still a better love story than twilight.
If you’re going to make a vampire film in this day and age you better be confident that is going to stick out from the huge crowd of vampire films that proliferate cinemas, DVD and Blu Ray players and streaming devices around the world. It is endemic and you must make a good and interesting film. There is no doubt that Ana Lily Amirpour has done this, which in itself is a major achievement. Particularly with considering that this is a black and white, Iranian vampire film, spoken mainly in Farsi and filmed entirely in California which doubles well for Iran, as far as I can tell anyway.
Let the Right One In and Byzantium in recent years have risen above the crowd of blood-suckers and overall as a film A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night joins this small group.
Dialogue is sparse and the viewer is not lead by the nose through the storyline and there is little in the way of in your face action sequences and little to no gore. Instead the film focuses on the characters and their place in the decaying and dying city, Bad City.
The black and white cinematography is superb and suits the film and story perfectly, giving the setting and characters a sense of otherworldliness. Clever locations and shooting means the film could have been set anywhere in the world.
The acting throughout is good and even the weaker dramatic moments hold up. Shelia Vand superbly plays ‘Girl’ swinging from both rather scary, to terrifying, to vulnerable and lovely in the space of minutes. Dominic Rains drug dealer is the biggest monster in the film and plays his role just on the right side of scenery chewing, Arash Marandi is truly believable as Arash, a nice boy but a nice boy who would do anything to help his hopeless father, if that means breaking the law so-be-it. We even have the Spaghetti Western stable of the little boy in the town who sees what is going on stoically and is indeed he, played by Milad Eghbali, who plays in the best and scariest scene in the film, a scene that the gore-hounds of Hollywood really need to watch. How to be scary with no-blood, slashed flesh or death. Fantastic stuff.
The film is certainly not perfect and flawless though. At times it seems to be playing up to its influences. Trying too hard to be a Jim Jarmusch sibling. too hard to be mysterious and cool but despite this and the fact that some judicial editing could have shortened some of the less than interesting longer moments and tightened the whole package up this film is as good as most film goers have been saying.
Certain sections of the public are never going to like this but they again they are never going to watch a black and white film, subtitled from Farsi to start off with, even when the word ‘vampire movie’ is dropped in the mix.
Despite some reservations there more than enough in this film to make looking out for all of the main participations next projects a worthwhile endeavour. If they can produce more stories that mean I see something different and something that makes me think whilst being entertained, then lets us hope that I don’t have to wait too long.
Anyway if your contribution to the cinematic world is a skateboarding Iranian vampire then you need to make more films.
Twilight meets Iran in Arty Farty ambiance. Good Music.
Strange, very quiet movie. Normally I don't go for romance but I loved the two leads' chemistry in this.