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A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night brings beauty to vampires

A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night is a 2014 Persian-language film written and directed by Ana Lily Amirpour. Deemed; “A new vampire classic, one to treasure endlessly” by The Playlist, this movie does away with all the classic vampire tropes. Our unnamed protagonist is a vampire teenage girl who travels by skateboard and preys solely on men who harm and disrespect women.

The film contains such an enjoyable eeriness. Even the seemingly unsettling shots of the dark and empty streets of Bad City (the fictional Iranian town where the film is set) feel comforting. This is because the “monster” in this film isn’t a monster at all, instead she’s more of a Robin Hood figure, turning her thirst for blood into vengeance. And we’re rooting for her the entire time. I don’t think Amirpour intended to scare her audiences, but instead give them the same feeling of power that “The Girl” has. Watching this movie makes me feel like her – strong, cunning, observational, and calm.

And she is almost always silent. In fact, the entire movie is extremely quiet. Bad City is essentially a ghost town and there isn’t much dialogue either. Music fills the absence of words. The soundtrack, comprised of a blend of western compositions and inventive Middle Eastern rhythms is one of the best components of the film. The Girl and other main character, Arash,
form a bond because of music. Arash is hardworking, he looks after his drug addicted father and has no time for anything but work and taking in tunes. Until matters in the drug trade go awry, and Arash encounters The Girl. Although few words are exchanged between them, they form a
strong friendship. It’s not a silent film, but with its utilization of black and white analog, it sometimes feels that way. The cinematographer is Lyle Vincent, who also DPed Thoroughbreds, a 2017 film following two different murderous teenage girls. His camera makes the spaces depicted seem larger than life, and close ups are utilized to get a peek into the characters thought processes. Of course, the black and white effect adds another layer of
beauty.

A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night was originally a short, and the feature was funded through an IndieGoGo campaign that raised 56,000 dollars. With a budget that small, it’s fair to not expect much. It just goes to show you that you don’t need a lot of money to create a masterpiece. Many reviews call it “strange” or “unusual” – but to me it makes perfect sense. It’s a gorgeously made blend of so many great elements. Vampires. Western style storytelling. And a powerful girl who kills cruel men.