In the Iranian ghost-town Bad City, a place that reeks of death and loneliness, the townspeople are unaware they are being stalked by a lonesome vampire.
ActorsStarring: Sheila Vand, Arash Marandi, Marshall Manesh, Dominic Rains, Mozhan Marnò, Rome Shadanloo, Milad Eghbali, Reza Sixo Safai
This movie is being mis-marketed as a ‘horror’ – it is not scary in the least. What would be a better classification? I am not sure as there isn’t a whole lot to the plot.
This movie is all about style over substance. And stylish it absolutely is. The (black and white) photography is exceptional; every scene is planned for its visuals. And the soundtrack is truly excellent as well. The combination sets out a great atmosphere throughout the entire movie and it is visually and aurally outstanding.
The film is the debut of Iranian director Ana Lily Amirpour, who seems to have taken inspiration from many different sources – from the outset it quickly takes you through a number of different styles but it does so quite well – it does not feel like a hotchpotch of hommages or copy-cattism – it manages to create its own unique atmosphere. There were a couple of spaghetti-western inspired segments that rang a Tarantino-bell with me, but in a good way.
And then the plot. Well, it is no secret that The Girl Who Walke Home Alone at Night is in fact a vampire. That must be where the ‘horror’ label came from. But there is no real purpose to her being a vampire other than to allow her to be a few things: amongst others a judge, jury and executioner of ‘bad people’ living in ‘Bad City’ (where the movie is set), and a complicated love-interest for a non-vampire (not to worry: there are no references or hommages to The Twilight Saga!).
But it is really best to forget about the plot – there isn’t really a plot of any interest so looking for one is going to cause distraction from the good points. This movie is about atmosphere and style for the moviegoer to experience. So enjoy it for that atmospheric experience with the beautiful cinematography and one of the best soundtracks I have heard in a while (the director used to work as a DJ and it shows).
But in the end whilst I enjoyed its style and atmosphere, a lot, it still didn’t really do it for me personally – just a bit more plot would have helped enormously.