- Actors: Sheila Vand, Arash Marandi, Mozhan Marnò, Dominic Rains, Milad Eghbali
- Directors: Ana Lily Amirpour
- Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Collector's Edition, Dolby, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled
- Language: Persian
- Subtitles: English
- Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
- Number of discs: 1
- Rated: Not RatedUnrated
- Studio: Kino Lorber
- DVD Release Date: April 21, 2015
- Run Time: 100 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 211 customer reviews
- ASIN: B00SV06VLS
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,341 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
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Strange things are afoot in Bad City. The Iranian ghost town, home to prostitutes, junkies, pimps, and other sordid souls, is a place that reeks of death and hopelessness, where a lonely vampire is stalking the towns most unsavory inhabitants. But when boy meets girl, an unusual love story begins to blossom...blood red.
The first Iranian Vampire Western, Ana Lily Amirpour's debut feature A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night basks in the sheer pleasure of pulp. A joyful mash-up of genre, archetype and iconography, its prolific influences span spaghetti westerns, graphic novels, horror films, and the Iranian New Wave. Amped by a mix of Iranian rock, techno and Morricone-inspired riffs, its airy, anamorphic, black-and-white aesthetic and artfully drawn-out scenes combine the simmering tension of Sergio Leone with the surrealism of David Lynch.
Special Features: Behind-the-Scenes Footage, Collectible Graphic Novels with essay by Eric Kohn, Deleted Scenes, Q&A Hosted by Roger Corman at the Hammer Museum, part of MoMA's Contenders Series. Stills Gallery, Trailer, VICE Behind-the-Scenes Documentary, VICE Meets Ana Lily Amirpour and Sheila Vand
Top customer reviews
Lurking the streets of Iranian ghost-town Bad City, a lonesome vampire who stalks the townspeople finds love.
The story begins by introducing us to Arash, a young man who works hard to support himself and care for his junkie father. His father’s lifestyle takes a negative effect on Arash, who suffers at the hands of a drug dealer collecting on his father’s debt. Bad City reeks of everything that is wrong with society, and he is not alone in feeling that way. A vampire has been ridding the city of the degenerates that plague it, and she does so by sinking her teeth into their necks.
The first kill hits at the 24 minute mark, and I was honestly very impressed with how scary it was. Ana Lily Amirpour’s execution of this scene is incredible. From the full-frontal cinematography to the performance from the talented Sheila Vand, the tension was high and the effect is a lasting one. When the vampire, credited as The Girl, and Arash finally meet, the chemistry between the two is awe-inspiring. Arash moves the film and The Girl graces it with sincere joy and the occasional feasting. Amirpour’s story is not devoutly horror, as it blends love and other elements, but it is absolutely a horror film. Don’t be fooled. There are several awesome kill sequences, with each of them executed in a fashion that left me shocked in ways I did not expect from such an “artsy” film. Actress Sheila Vand’s performance played a big role in these scares. After seeing her in Ben Affleck’s Argo, it was amazing to see her display such a cruel and terrifying death stare before each kill.
Armirpour ensures that this will be a visually engaging piece, shot in black and white while perfectly blending contrast and blacks to give us a vintage look. The musical score plays into this atmosphere, and while at times it bled that Robert Rodriguez Western feel, I honestly did not see this as the Western film it has been marketed as. The sets used were simple but effective, and no, this Iranian-language flick was not filmed in Iran, but in Taft, California.
This story is an engaging one, but don’t expect it to be consumed with vampire action. Like I mentioned earlier, we do see a few good kills, but this is equal parts romance as it is horror, and the romance will consume the second act as well as most of the third. The dialogue is minimal, yet that did not negatively affect the interaction between Arash and The Girl. At times I felt like Amirpour’s goal was to sell the film with atmosphere and emotion, and not so much with narrative. One element to consider, aside from love and horror, is the feeling of empowerment displayed from The Girl. Each of her kills serves a purpose. Whether she kills a drug dealer or a rapist, she is ridding Bad City of the scum that plagues it.
Overall, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night is a one-of-a-kind experience that I suggest to those who would appreciate such a film. The direction is incredible, the horror is solid, and this is a slap in the face of those who say horror is dead / all genre films are the same.
I don't think everyone will like this film though, it doesn't have high action, very little action actually. And much more of the feeling of characters are portrayed in silence and body language more than spoken dialogue. The city which the movie is based in, and the overall atmosphere is just as much of a character in the film as the characters themselves.
Overall this is an interesting film, which, the premise is pretty self-explanatory. I found it intriguing and would watch it again, but it didn't blow me out of the water. If you are fan of horror, and interesting characters. And can put up (at least) with a movie that isn't just keeping your attention from special effects. Than give this one a try, if for some reason one of the three things I mentioned above is a no, then, my bet is you won’t care for this one too much.
Although it is an American film, filmed outside of Bakersfield, California, A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT is set in Iran and is in Farsi. But it is not the dialogue the matters here, it's the actors who tell the story mostly with their eyes and facial expressions along with the film noir lighting in shadows and at night.
Amirpour takes on a lot of issues in a subtle way. It's the perception of women in society that crosses all boundaries along with life in a politically repressed regime. Anyone from anywhere can relate.
There is magic in the casting, too. Sheila Vand is phenomenal at the mystery girl in the chador. It's her eyes that tell the story of the pain and loneliness of being a vampire. She wears the bulky chador open as a sort of cape or cloak and wears western clothes beneath. She even skateboards around the dismal town. Our vampire finds love and maybe redemption in the arms of another loner Arash (Arash Marandi). Two lost souls find each other.
Another star of the film is Masuka the cat who binds the various elements of the story together. It's amazing how Amirpour weaves a story of a vampire, prostitutes, drug dealers and addicts into a moving and thought provoking story. Hey, and then there is the '57 Thunderbird girl that somehow ends up in a small Iranian town. As I said, it is surreal and absurd at times but yet this is one film that totally will captivate you.
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