Thursday, August 6, 2015

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)

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The other day I listened to a podcast called Not Too Deep where YouTuber Kian Lawley was the guest. He recently starred in a horror movie called The Chosen. He discussed how there is an issue with horror movies where the stories have been done so many times in so many different ways that it is hard to come up with quality horror movies. I completely agree with him. Horror movies that are made today lack so much quality. They usually lack originality, acting, and direction. One current so-called horror movie that defies current terrible horror movies is A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. Not only does it have a good story but it is excellently directed and perfectly acted.
            The story takes place in a fictional town in Iran called Bad City. The town is desolate and run down. As a young man named Arash walks back to his home he passes a pit where hundreds of bodies have been placed. He passes this pit as if there was nothing in there. Arash returns home to his crack head father on the floor after he took a hit. The father’s dealer Saeed comes to the house looking for his payment. As payment Saeed takes the keys to Arash’s vintage car he worked years to save up for. In a fit of frustration Arash runs down to his car as Saeed drives away and punches a wall breaking his hand.
            In Arash’s car Saeed picks up a prostitute. As the prostitute does what he wants her to do, he looks out the window and sees this woman with a cover over her head and a striped shirt and black pants. The sight freaks him out. He gets out of the car and follows the girl who was staring at him. Saeed catches up to her and thinking she is another prostitute he takes her back to his place. Saeed ignores the girl for a while. When he goes up to her he starts touching her face. She puts his finger in her mouth and before Saeed can blink fangs come down from the girl’s mouth and she bites off his finger. Quickly she pins him to the floor and kills him by drinking his blood.
            Arash comes to Saeed’s place looking to get his car back. He stole earring from one of his wealthy clients he landscapes for and plans on paying the drug dealer with. The girl comes down from the apartment and lets him in. Arash enters the apartment to find Saeed dead. He takes his car keys out of the dead man’s pocket as well as his suitcase of drugs and money.
            Later on Arash attends a costume party. The rich girl he works for is there. He has Saeed’s drugs on him. The rich girl makes him take Ecstasy and Arash does not handle it very well. He leaves the party and walks through a brightly lit empty street in a Dracula costume. The girl who killed Saeed is riding by on her skateboard when she comes across Arash staring at the light of a lamppost. She can tell something is off and nonthreatening about him. He takes her hand and comments that she is freezing. In a gesture of kindness Arash takes his cape and wraps it and his arms around the girl. Giving kindness back the girl takes Arash back to her place.
            In a not-so-normal vampire movie the vampire does have feelings and does feel love. The girl really likes Arash and he really likes her. There is a lot more to the story and to the characters but I am going to stop here so as not to give it all away.
            A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is one of the best I have seen in a long time. It is billed as a vampire western set in the Middle East. The story and the characters are genius because it is so different. The girl is truly a modern day vampire and she is not typical. She is not full of complete anger and rage nor is she a teenaged vampire falling for a teenaged human. What I really liked how there was no back story for the girl or Arash. What we were given by the writer/director Ana Lily Amirpour is perfect. Amirpour’s direction is flawless. I have been finding lately that movies directed women have more depth and emotion and a different view than ones directed by men. When I watch movies directed by women from the past few years I feel I am watching movies that I have been waiting for, they are the movies I want to see more of. I also really liked how there was no explanation as to why Arash dressed like James Dean or drove a vintage 1950s car. That is him and that is what we were given.

            I cannot suggest seeing A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night enough. It is so creative in its story telling and direction. It is also a perfect blend of classic horror, when horror was still new and the level of quality was high, and modern takes on those classics. I can go on and on forever about how much I love that there was not a lot of back story on the characters. The story dealt with the present of each of the characters and that was perfect. If you love movies in any way and want to see a great story with fantastic acting and direction definitely watch A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night