Saturday, October 10, 2015

31 Days of Horror- Day 10: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)

(dir. Ana Lily Amirpoor)

VICE Films
*First time viewing

A lonely vampire stalks the streets of Bad City looking for prey and finds something else.

I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, especially given how the Persian film took the world by storm last year. What I got was much different from what I imagined, and in the initial moments following my viewing, I’ll admit I was a little let down. Make no mistake, the filmmaking is brilliant. Amirpoor creates the best looking modern black and white film in recent memory (The Artist can suck it). But the film is not a traditional horror movie by any means, nor is it a traditional vampire story. Even the kinda, sorta love story that develops between the nameless vampire and her suitor, Arash, never feels much like a romance. A Girl Walks Home Alone At Midnight breaks traditions, and as a result becomes something deeper, though perhaps the exact amount of depth is not immediately apparent.

The film is drenched with a sense of isolation, from the buildings that seem to lack inhabitants, to the lone figures, silently walking the streets of Bad City. Everyone and everything in the film seems to be in search of something, and the plot points revolve around a set of spatially interconnected, yet emotionally disconnected, characters only to emphasize this sense of longing. The more I’ve thought about the film, the more I’ve come to appreciate its subtle brilliance. Life without love or companionship is death, and so all the characters who stalk the night within the film are vampires in their own right, each craving their own vices to fill the void for something else. A Girl Walks Home at Night does what the best vampire stories do: provide a meditation on life, and it does this with a great soundtrack to boast.

Scare Factor 1/5: A Girl Walks Alone at Night sneaks up on you with its power. It’s not overt in its intentions, but instead asks you to explore it for yourself. While I’m hesitant to give it the instant classic status that so many others have, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is far more complex a film than I initially thought and one that I think will grow on me with subsequent viewings.

**Available to watch on Netflix Instant

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