Vampires are frustrating. Viewers are tortured with films like Twilight, which progressively water-down the beautiful, yet terrifying creatures. Then we have films like Let the Right One In, which creates an entire mural of vampire folklore and memorable scenes all within a two hour slot. How are viewers supposed to interpret this beautiful, yet fragile genre?
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night focuses on an Iranian industrial center called Bad City and the lonely vampire that stalks the residents there. The vampire, otherwise known as The Girl (Sheila Vand) is relatable due to her morals and sense of style. She appears to only fee3d on individuals that have an evil soul. She is a complete badass in the sense that she will stalk her prey, speak Latin, and find humorous ways to torture her victims. She has an affinity for disco music and skateboards. Most of the citizens of Bad City are flawed characters, but if there is one true protagonist, it is Arash (Arash Marandi). Arash takes care of his father and resonates with viewers due to his sensitivity and love for both beautiful women and cars. While he does make questionable decisions, he is clearly the most pure of heart of any citizen in Bad City. Naturally, the lives of The Girl and Arash intertwine, creating memorable moments steeped in love.
When watching A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, the first thing the viewer is struck by is the artistic elements of the film. Being in black and white, it is immediately assured that this movie won’t be for everyone. I ask that viewers put aside their negative feelings toward pretentious artistic expression and allow themselves to be taken in by the beautiful imagery. The music is magical right from the start. Weaving Iranian music, disco, house, and post-punk into a web of musical poetry that fits perfectly with the black and white viewing experience. This movie may be bougie, but there is something so beautiful about it all.
Like many artistic horror films, this movie is based more on a sense of dread than outright scares. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night focuses on nuanced moments based on whether or not The Girl is going to kill or let the individual go. The viewer never feels like they have a true sense of who The Girl is. This results in moments of fear due to the unpredictability of the antagonists relationship with Arash. No matter what, this film stays with you on so many levels and can be aptly described as disturbing.
Any negatives that can be stated about this film are going to be due to taste. People who prefer their horror more gritty or in color will not love this film as much as someone else. Even if you consider yourself more of a mainstream movie goer, it is impossible not to appreciate the craftsmanship. There are so many moments of uniqueness that blend together to create an amaziling original horror experience.
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is an incredible film that justly depicts the vampire genre. While some may have issues with its accessibility, no one can doubt the amount of sheer genius that went into creating this film. If you want a movie that perfectly blends cinematography, music, horror, and storytelling into one, this film is the perfect choice.
If you liked A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, you might also like Let the Right One In.