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Oxide Pang Chun,
A mid-western farm boy reluctantly becomes a member of the undead when a girl he meets turns out to be part of a band of southern vampires who roam the highways in stolen cars. Part of his initiation includes a bloody assault on a hick bar. Written by
Keith Loh <email@example.com>
Released in the shadow of the higher budget and more audacious comic fantasy masterpiece 'The Lost Boys', Near Dark doesn't quite get the recognition it deserves within the horror genre. Although it's not as great as the aforementioned cult classic, Near Dark has it's own niche within the vampire sub-genre for being such an original take on it. The rules of vampire horror have been reinvented, changed or discarded completely and the result is something to behold. This allows Katherine Bigelow to do whatever she wants with the premise, and this makes for a very thrilling movie as we're lead to believe that absolutely anything can happen, which continually keeps the audience on the edge of their seats. The story, which takes in various elements of common vampire folklore such as the transition from human to inhuman, follows Caleb Colton; a young farm boy that is taken in by a beautiful young woman (and you wouldn't blame him when you see her ), and soon finds himself battling with some strange ailment that makes him allergic to sunlight, shortly before being picked up by a rag-tag band of vampires that inhabit an old pick up truck. We then follow Caleb as he comes to terms with his situation and attempts to fit in with the pack...
For this movie, Katherine Bigelow recruited three of the support players from her then husband's fabulous 'Aliens'. Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen and Janette Goldstein bring life to the movie's core as the three major players of the vampire nomads. Bill Paxton in particular is fantastic as usual as Severen; the most pronounced member of the group. Bill is an actor that tends to get support roles that almost carry the film, and that's exactly the case here. That's not to say that Near Dark is only Paxton's movie, as Adrian Pasdar and the incredible Jenny Wright do well in the lead roles, as do the rest of the support players. But when the movie is over, it's Bill Paxton that sticks in your mind the most. The cinematography on show in Near Dark is superb and a delight for the eyes as well as the brain, because Near Dark breathes a continual atmosphere of intrigue from the way it's beautifully shot. The music by Tangerine Dream is right on cue as well, and it brings a surreal, trippy sensation to the proceedings, which emphasises the dream-like state that our hero has been put into.
Near Dark is a vampire movie free of the usual clichés and one that makes it's own rules, which makes it must see for the vampire fan. I wouldn't recommend this movie to people who are new to the vampire movie from the off, however, as it's one that needs to be viewed after you've got used to the genre staples in order to fully appreciate it, but once you have got used to it; this isn't a movie you'll want to miss.
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