Reviewed by: Alex
When I first heard A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night described as a vampire romance movie, I was ready to write it off pretty quickly. Fortunately, other descriptive words soon followed that were much more interesting: spaghetti western, Iranian cinema, feminist. AGWHAN delivers a film the likes I haven’t seen elsewhere. Even in its small faults, the movie is so compelling and different that these small blemishes are hardly noticeable.
Our story takes place in the eponymous Bad City, which is not a great place to be. There are drug pushers, addicts economic inequality, and a vampire walks the streets at night. We follow Arash, a young man taking care of his addict father while trying to hang out with the wealthy elite by pushing drugs, as well as The Girl, a vampire who wanders the streets at night in her hiijab looking for a drink.
The plot is relatively simple, but shot in a way to make every moment full of tension. It truly is a spaghetti western, with many scenes showing subtle movements and looks between characters as music builds. It would be very easy for this style of storytelling to go off the rails and become boring or laughable, but the cast and music draw you in to every subtle movement and emotion. Fans of the Mexican Standoff-style showdowns will find a lot to like here. Of all the tracks, Black Sunday really stuck out to me – give it a listen, and you’ll know that this truly a western tale.
It’s equally refreshing to see a more feminist style of horror movie and story telling. The film doesn’t hit you over the head with metaphor, but shows enough to get the audience thinking about what the greater meaning of each scene is. Horror movies have been full of social commentary since their inception, and AGWHAN builds on this legacy to build both a meaningful conversation and a compelling film.
The film only falls short in some of the in-between scenes; perhaps I missed the point of them, but more than a few segments seemed out of place. The only reason these stuck out to me was that the rest of the film was so tightly crafted and beautiful. If you’re a fan of horror movies, AGWHAN should not be missed. For those who don’t like horror films, you will still likely enjoy it; there’s nothing overly gory or grotesque here. This is a horror movie more in the style of classics like Dracula and Frankenstein; beautiful and scary at once, where the common person can be just as frightening as the monster.
Five out of five skateboarding vampires