This one has been on my horror radar for some time now. I always like to see how someone will handle an idea or monster that has been so thoroughly explored like the vampire has. I can’t say that A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night has added anything particularly new or groundbreaking to the vampire mythos but it does at least handle it well. I’d say that most of the interesting choices with the concept of the vampire is, like in Let the Right One In, more about what they don’t do than what they try to add.
The focus in the movie follows two people in Bad City, Iran (yes the actual name of the place they live) as their very strange lives cross. Arash, a young man with a junkie father, is trying to get by any way he can in the world. The titular Girl, no name given, is a vampire that mostly seems concerned with fucking with people and feeding on people that are assholes. The two find each other as they are wandering the streets at night and kind of fall in love maybe? Can a boy from the streets and a girl with the teeth truly find happiness in this crazy mixed-up world?
Filmed in black and white and mostly taking place during the night time, this movie feels much more like a noir drama than a horror movie. In fact, I’d say that there is probably only one or two moments in the movie that would be seen as such. The Girl as a vampire is done very well. She is mostly a blank slate that doesn’t divulge anything about herself. We don’t know how old she is, what type of vampire rules she follows, or even why she is hanging around in Bad City. That unknown quality is what makes her so interesting. I especially like that there is no scene in the movie at all where anyone attempts to murder her or any weakness is shown. She never gets in sunlight or sees a cross or anything else that would make her supernatural. Her being a vampire is almost a non-factor.
That being said, if you came into this thinking you were going to see a vampire movie and instead got a drama about a man dealing with his father’s drug addiction, you were probably going to be pretty miffed. Since The Girl doesn’t have any background, we can’t really get a story from her outside of a vague notion that she is probably trying to somewhat be helpful with her blood drinking? She kills a drug dealer, she scares a little boy straight, and kills a guy after he forces a prostitute to do drugs when she refuses. Through all that, though, she barely has any lines unless directly talking to Arash and even then is very curt. The tension between the two of them is done well and it establishes a romantic relationship when the two are never shown to even kiss.
In all, I liked this movie but probably not as much as I think I probably would had it not had a decent hype train behind it when it released. I’ll give it a 3.5 out of 5 for the interesting take on the vampire trope but dramas generally aren’t my thing.
Favorite thing in the movie: The Girl’s first kill in the movie is so well done. Everything comes together to make a tense and chilling moment.
Least favorite thing: The son throwing the dad out. Mostly because he also gets rid of their cat and that cat is fucking great.
Special thanks to Simian_Prime for the recommend.
Glad you liked it!
Let me next recommend Rigor Morris, a jiangshi (hopping vampire) movie from Hong Kong.