Ana Lily Amirpour’s directorial debut proves that she is a force to be reckoned with. ‘The Girl Walk Home Alone at Night’ is the first Iranian Vampire Western ever made and incorporates electric elements of genre, archetypal characters and iconography. The cinematic stylings of this film span from spaghetti westerns, graphic novels, horror films and Iranian New Wave cinema.
Amirpour establishes her own whimsical yet brilliantly clever portrayal of teenage angst, romantic isolation and perpetual emotional exile.
Sheila Vand plays the mysterious girl dressed in a black veil whose piercing eyes speak volumes above her few and far between scripted lines. At night her character, namelessly referred to as ‘The Girl’, roams the streets of a district in Iran or perhaps an Iranian neighbourhood in the US. During the nights she silently observes the citizens’ wrong-doings (mainly men who disrespect women) and takes it upon herself to seek justice and revenge as only a vampire can.
The perils of being a social outcast are not all The Girl has to face during the film. Arash, a young James Dean inspired man and the protagonist of the film, crosses her path and it turns out her lusts for blood are extinguished in his presence. Young love is never easy… let alone if you have razor sharp teeth and enjoy killing the occasional person.
The brilliance of Amirpour’s film is the elegance of the black and white cinematography and limited speech that allow the viewer to delve deeper into the emotional underground of the society, characters and power plays at hand. Not to mention the fact that while at its core the film is based on vampirism and love it is a polar opposite of the teen-flicks ‘Twilight’.
If you are a fan of this film you may also enjoy ‘Persepolis’ (2007), also an Iranian film based on Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novel.
Check out the trailer below!