Director Ana Lily Amirpour, who bears a somewhat similar resemblance to the Sheila Vand (The Girl) actually performed the skateboarding sequences in the film for the the long shots. Amirpour is a lifelong skateboarder. See more »
When the girl is pushing Arash home on the skateboard, the clicking of the wheels do not match the passage of the wheels over the sidewalk cracks. See more »
In my 5 decades of enjoying film I thought that I had seen every genre possible. Musicals, horror, horror musicals, foreign films, cult films and independent all. I thought all my bases were covered. But as I sat at the Bell Lightbox Theatre for a screening of A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, I was quick to realize that this was the first Iranian black and white vampire film to hit my filmography resume.
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night comes courtesy of writer/director Ana Lily Amirpour who took her 2011 short of the same name and stretched it into a feature film. A Girl Walks Home at Night focuses on a young music-loving female vampire (Sheila Vand) who stalks the streets of Bad City casually picking her prey. On a collision course to intersect story lines is Arash (Arash Marandi), a young man with a prized car who spends his days caring for his heroin addicted father (Marshall Manesh). Arash and our vampire antagonist first meet after she feasts on a local drug dealer, Saeed (Dominic Rains). Saeed supplied Arash's father with the drugs that kept him incapacitated and the family debt results in Saeed leaving with Arash's cherished car. When Arash heads to Saeed's home in an attempt to reclaim his vehicle he finds Saeed bloodied and dead with a briefcase full of drugs and money left untouched on the table. Arash takes the briefcase and the new found fortune commences a character arc that will eventually lead Arash to meeting the vampire girl under a street lamp after a costume party.
The two leads spark up an unlikely relationship with the girl hiding her vampire-ism from Arash as the non-sexual bond between the two intensifies. But when Arash's father becomes a victim, things become complicated and life-altering decisions are made in its wake.
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is soft horror. Shot in glorious black and white there are some scenes of blood and a few seconds of violence, but the film is primarily rooted in the characters and Ana Lily Amipour masterfully weaves the tale through familiar ground without losing to the temptations of stereotypical checklist horror positions. The overall body count is low and there is no abundance of secondary characters and sub-plots to deviate from the original story.
Amipour uses a wide range of music from multiple genres which fit seamlessly into the story as if she was tutored on the importance of music in film by Quentin Tarantino. Some exceptional lighting used for shading and shadows made A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night an intriguing watch but not necessarily an important one. The film is slow. Maybe too slow. And the characters are interesting but not involving. We appreciated the style, but wished for there to be more meat on the bone to keep us from having to focus on the lighting and music to pull A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night from meritocracy. Style took the film as far as it could but the lack of anything truly original kept us from wanting anything more once the screen finally faded to black.
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