First time feature film director Ana Lily Amirpour crafts an atmospheric, gorgeously shot twist on the vampire tale. British-born, American raised but from Iranian heritage, Amirpour’s stylish melting pot of Western-Iranian culture oozes coolness. Shot in black and white, it reveals its fangs with a real vulnerable horror in an unspecific place which seems out of time and without rule of law, playing off the American Western. Littered with pimps, prostitutes and drugs, Sheila Vand plays the vampire girl with a quirky taste in music and a veil which gives the illusion of floatation, she’s a rebel in a world filled with outlaws.
The film is bloody and unsettling, undermined slightly by Amirpour’s preoccupation with form and style above narrative content. Yet its bold cinematography along with a female empowering subtext make it ceaselessly interesting. According to IMDB, her next film promises a ‘dystopian love story in a Texas wasteland and set in a community of cannibals’, starring Keanu Reeves and Jim Carey and based on this first effort, I can’t wait.
Review by David Rank
A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night is out now in the UK and US. Running time 101 mins. Certificate 15 (UK).