A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

2014. Directed by Ana Lily Amirpour

Every once in a while you're watching a movie and realize, almost instantly that you're witnessing something truly special. Amirpour's debut feature, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is a vampire love story that breaks all the rules and twists the genre foundations in a gorgeous black and white presentation that is a true maverick.

The film takes place in an Iranian ghetto, a dangerous place populated by lots souls and violent criminals. The first thing that strikes you is how real the world seems. The script, also written by Amirpour, uses dialogue that communicates this city could exist in any country. There are drug addicts, desperate sons, and hard partying debutantes that all speak the same, universal language of despair.

The plot involves a timeless vampire who makes a connection to her prey, but unlike so many other offerings in the vampire pantheon, this is an intimate examination of the brutality of love, the concept of humanity, and ultimately about the extreme cost of forbidden love. It's also a feminist love note, presenting it's vampire protagonist as strong, deeply flawed, and overwhelmingly humane in her approach.

Everything is stripped to the bone. The violence is restrained and artful and the creature herself a thing of haunting beauty. Lyle Vincent's cinematography picks up the ramshackle tenements and foggy factories filling the background of each frame, which focuses unrelentingly on the relationship of the two leads. Sheila Vand as The Girl and Arash Marandi as her love ignite every frame with their awkward, lonely chemistry.

The film has an almost glacial pace that is deliberate. Alex O'Finn's editing is near perfection, making the entire film is a slow injection, a delivery mechanism for it's heartbreaking and all too real conclusion.

Available now on Netflix, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is an imaginative, harrowing, and original entry in the romance horror field.

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