“Are you a good boy?”
Welcome to Bad City, where people are stuck, desperate for some change they’re unwilling to make for themselves. The parties leave the young people wasted, the old people get lost in their own personal despairs, and the vampire girl rides around on her skateboard looking for fresh blood. Similar to the dark, surreal, industrial town of David Lynch’s Eraserhead, Bad City is a place that’s a little sideways, a little crooked.
At the center of it all is the Girl, who passes in and out of everyone’s lives, acting either as a friend, a witness, or Death herself. Though not depicted as incredibly evil, the vampire Girl of the title is nonetheless a menacing figure, and acts simultaneously as Bad City’s monster and its avenger.
Arash, a young man who’s helping his junkie father and trying to appease the local drug dealer, befriends the Girl one night. There’s a moment when she considers biting him but it passes. They’re two lonely souls and maybe they’ve each found something in the other person. In addition to being a horror film, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is also a romance… a dark comedy… a magical realism film… and an interesting arthouse directorial debut.
Filmmaker Ana Lily Amirpour has earned herself a new fan in me. Her film, which reminds one of Lynch and Jim Jarmusch, is so slick and stylish. One scene ranks among the most romantic and beautiful moments in all of modern film. She also shows a great understanding of how to use music in film, an underrated skill. And I like how the film plays with heavy dramatic stuff but makes sure to remind the audience that a pair of fangs are never far away.
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is a good one. You can watch it now on Netflix.
Tomorrow: Green Room.
Writer of horror, science fiction, and dark fantasy. Lover of fiction and film. Lifelong Godzilla fan. Reluctant blogger.
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