The vampire sub-genre is a hit or miss genre. A few years back vampires seemed to hit their peak with Twilight and True Blood. These aren’t exactly the kind of vampires that fans of the horror genre wanted, but if anything is going to rake in the cash it’s getting house wives and tweens to buy in. As with all trends in mainstream entertainment they come with an expiration date and it seems our fanged friends have since passed it. Even though we no longer get sparkly teen vampires, we do get back on track on film makers are less afraid to tackle this genre. This year we got some of the best and original vampire flicks in the last decade. Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive and Clif Prowse and Derek Lee’s Afflicted. Both fun and interesting entries to the vampire lore. Up until a few days ago I had been hearing that Ana Lily Amipour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night is another entry on this list. Eagerly, I sat down to see what I was told was the best vampire films in years… I don’t think I watched the same movie…
Bad City is a small and desolate town that feels like how most of this country thinks of Detroit. Yeah it’s that bad. Run down buildings, barren streets crawling with drug dealers and prostitutes and the surrounding area littered with oil derricks… Yeah it’s a lot like Detroit. Arash (Arash Marandi) just lost his treasured classic Thunderbird car to his father’s drug dealer, Saeed (Dominic Rains) as payment for his father’s heroin debt . Desperate to get it back Arash acts drastically and steals from his wealthy employer’s daughter. Before he can pay off Saeed, a female vampire (Sheila Vand) shows up and turns Saeed into a human Slurpee. It doesn’t take long for the vampire and Arash’s paths to cross. If that sounds like a plot that was interesting and filled with endless possibilities that takes an even crazier and interesting route by adding a bloody mythological creature you would be wrong.
The biggest problem I had with this movie was it was boring. Dear lord was it boring. Writer/director Ana Lily Amipour has created a damn interesting world filled with depressing and conflicted characters. All this is shot in a beautiful black and white which is only enhanced by the raw and gritty cinematography. It felt like the story was building to something interesting and exciting. Then Amipour screwed it all up by adding the most boring character in the entire film: The Vampire. Normally in horror films when the monster shows up on the screen we can’t look away. Not the case here. This vampire stands in the middle of empty streets, covered from head to toe in black robes and follows men conspicuously and then…nothing. Absolutely nothing. When she finally does get down to fang action I was so bored with this movie the most exciting thing happening was the struggle I had keeping my eyes off my iPhone and checking for recent Kim Kardashian butt pics.
I don’t mean to be harsh because I honestly feel that Amipour is a talented film maker. She has a voice and is willing to take chances that most first time directors would never attempt. BUT ( you knew it was coming) it felt like she added a vampire as an after thought and figured this would help sell her movie and the art crowd will buy it because it’s black and white and she can claim the vampire is a metaphor for women’s rights… Blah, blah, blah. I don’t mind my horror done arty (the aforementioned Only Lovers Left Alive is a prime example of it done right), but at least make it interesting. Hell I would take the sparkly, sexy vampires over a melancholy, boring one any day… Okay maybe not THOSE sparkly twitards, but you get my point.