|Review by Guy Benoit|
It’s perverse that Jim Jarmusch would so recently produce Only Lovers Left Alive, his vampire flick, simply because A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night seems to answer the question, “Imagine if Jim Jarmusch directed a vampire flick?”
While Ana Lily Amirpour’s wonderful A Girl Walks Home At Night takes some obvious stylistic notes from Strangers In Paradise and Down By Law, it’s a powerful and original work.
Examining the relationship between a sad sack n’er do well who lives in Bad City, Iran, and a gliding vampire woman who feeds primarily on the men of that same city, it’s moody, elegant and, unlike Jarmusch’s cranky rumination, authentically frightening.
Sheila Vand, who plays the vampire, is a wildly talented physical actress. Watching her mirror the movements of her potential victims brings to mind an unholy combination of Max Schreck and mirror-routine Harpo Marx. She is the bloody heart and non-soul of this bizarre piece, and her deadpan malice succeeds at every turn.
Arash Marnadi, portraying an easily-distracted drug dealer, is an effective counterpoint to Vand’s consistent slow burn. Wonderful acting all around.
If A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, Only Lovers Left Alive and What We Do In The Shadows are any indication, a new breed of vampire has been disinterred: idiosyncratic, proudly foreign and possessed of a specific internal logic. Don’t forget to look over your shoulder when walking home from the art house.
Finally, the film contains a really funny homage to Repo Man.