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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>
I hunted this film for ages and then it came out on DVD, so I had to buy it. Originally, it was purely due to the cast. I thought it would be good though and I was not let down, in fact, my expectations were well exceeded. Near Dark is my favourite vampire film and I am proud to be part of the cult following this film has gathered years since its release.
The camera work is great, Bigelow does a really great job in the director's chair and always does her best to make a film look as visually impressive as possible; it's hard to believe this was a low budget movie. The screenplay for the film is excellent and very original. Near Dark is very different to other vampire films and it really is refreshing to watch something so different. Where most vampire films bathe in Gothic undertones and romanticise themselves, Near Dark is much more subtle, even to the point where the word 'vampire' is not included within the picture. I can see why Kathryn Bigelow and James Cameron ended up married briefly as they both have similar integrity when it comes to film making.
The casting of the movie is its best point. The Aliens trio of Paxton, Goldstein and Henriksen were brilliant in this. Paxton and Henriksen are two of my favourite actors and I believe this is the best character Paxton has ever played, even Hudson does not compare to the mighty Severen! These three actors all excel at playing ruthless characters and do a great job at making Near Dark as entertaining as possible. In the midst of all the carnage, Adrian Pasdar and Jenny Wright do very well in bringing Near Dark down to earth. The chemistry between the two is very good and the characters are effective as they provide contrast between the other main characters.
I feel I must talk about the bar scene. As soon as that music kicks in, you know some on screen magic is about to happen. This is where the Aliens cast members really shine. Paxton is spitting out more clichés than he is blood. Also, as a big Terminator fan, I had to notice the bar patron as the T-2 'You forgot to say please' guy. I think he should stay away from bars from now on! This is what the film builds up to and this is the turning point of the film from a mainly character piece to a nail biting thriller. This is one of the most enjoyable and memorable scenes you will ever see.
Near Dark is a fantastic film, sadly overlooked due to people drawing too many comparisons between this and Lost Boys. This is far superior to Lost Boys as this has far more substance and more than one memorable character. With gruesome imagery, streams of blood and Bill Paxton and Lance Henriksen, this is the ultimate vampire film.
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