Billed as the first ever ‘Iranian vampire western’ movie (although shot on location in the USA), A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is a tale of boy meets girl, although she’s a blood-sucking vampire stalking the undesirable elements of Bad City and he’s struggling to support his drug addicted father.
As written the plot and script are basic, but A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is a celebration of what cinema can be beyond story and dialogue, with mesmerising cinematography and a superb soundtrack. In lesser hands it would be standard vampire fare, but it’s truly a film which utilises every aspect of cinema to envelope you in its mood and feelings. It carries menace, can be truly suspenseful and haunting and yet with a romantic quality; while the black-and-white visuals are gorgeous and the use of contrast masterful.
The soundtrack is, in its own unique way just as memorable and important to establishing mood as that in The Guest or Drive; if the feeling creeps in that the musical interludes are being used to pad out the runtime. On a similar note the pacing could generously be described as deliberate.
You never get a true feeling, understanding or appreciation for any of the characters and it could be accused of sometimes trying a little too hard to be hip but as for full-length feature débuts go, Ana Lily Amirpour’s is hugely impressive.
The Verdict: Reminding of Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is stylish, romantic and exquisitely shot and comfortably the best vampire film since Let The Right One In.