The spring showdown between DC and Marvel looms. Meanwhile, we’re looking back a year, to the greatest Iranian Feminist Skate-Vampire Western ever made.
Title: دختری در شب تنها به خانه میرود
Written and directed by Ana Lily Amirpour
Sheila Vand as The Girl
Arash Marandi as Arash
Marshall Manesh as Hossein
Mozhan Marnò as Atti
Dominic Rains as Saeed
Rome Shadanloo as Shaydah
Milad Eghbali as the Street Urchin
Reza Sixo Safai as Rockabilly
Ray Haratian as the Boss
Ana Lily Amirpour as Skeleton Partygirl
Pej Vahdat as DJ Porno
Masuka as the Cat
A vampire becomes involved with the lives of several people on the criminal and liminal edges of society, people who, like her, walk the night.
As with Let the Right One In / Let Me In, someone has made a vampire film, even a vampire romance, without falling into the clichés of the urban fantasy genre, or forgetting that even a sympathetic vampire is a predator. Writer/director Amirpour and actor Vand have created a new and iconic vampire.
And what’s more intriguing than a lonely, chador-wearing vampire? A lonely, chador-wearing vampire on a skateboard.
The pacing, particularly in the opening, could have been tightened.
Originality: 3/6 The film shows the influence of many famous directors (Murnau, for example) and genres, and it echoes earlier vamp pics (I note superficial similarities with the 1992 Gangster Cop Vampire Rom-Com Innocent Blood), but the film creates its own distinct world. I’m really having a difficult time thinking of another Iranian Feminist Skate Vampire Western–
–except, I should note, that this film is an expanded version of one the director did as a short subject.
Effects: 4/6 The film lacks any real special effects, other than vampire make-up. The lighting and visual style, however, constitute a kind of effect.
Acting: 5/6 The film is well acted; the stylized performances will not appeal to all audiences.
Production: 6/6 The film looks incredible, set in a eerie night-world that combines Americana and the Middle East. A Girl… also features a memorable soundtrack.
Although written and acted in Persian, the movie was filmed in California. We appear to be in the Middle East (dialogue, documents, licenses, and most signs are Arabic), but the geographical location is never established. We’re in a dark suburb of somewhere).
Emotional Response: 5/6 The film features a beguiling blend of horror and humour, and its vampire has both a heart and a bite.
In total, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night receives 34/42