A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Sunday, Aug 28, 2016
This is a very interesting, hard-to-pin-down film. It's a Persian-language, American-produced and filmed, black-and-white vampire flick. The title itself, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, invokes our culturally-ingrained sense of danger at the concept of a woman being alone on the streets after dark. In this instance, since she's a vampire, it's the nameless girl of the title who is the danger lurking in the shadows. Again defying expectations, far from being a source of evil, it seems as though the girl is the ethical force in her chaotic and amoral surroundings. She warns a young boy to keep on the straight and narrow because she'll be watching him. She kills a drug dealer who is making life hard for the other main character, Arash, a young man who is struggling to stay afloat despite his precarious employment and his father's drug addiction. She and Arash form a tentative relationship, and the real question in the film is not who the girl will kill next, but whether their relationship can withstand the moral ambiguity rampant in both of their lives.
I thoroughly enjoyed the themes, concept, and visual style of this film. The girl's donning of a chador as her Dracula-cape-equivalent was particularly pleasing, both visually and symbolically. It is, however, painfully slow-paced at times. If you are looking for a conventionally-plotted and paced horror film, it's best to look elsewhere. If you like A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, however, I can also heartily recommend the unconventional French "zombie" drama, The Returned.