A girl wearing a fluttering chador and carrying a skateboard under her arm strolls through a near deserted city. Only drug dealers and addicts, prostitutes and delinquents appear to populate the streets. And of course the nameless girl, walking home alone. Completely fearless, an impenetrable look in her eyes. To the viewer it becomes clear: she is not from this world. She only awakens from her apparent apathy when she meets Arash. It seems as though they were made for each other: he is wearing a Dracula costume. Their love forms the theme of the film, though it could be said the film’s atmosphere is superior to its plot. Ana Lily Amirpour shoots in grungy black and white, an effect that paints everything in an ultra-cool light: Arash’s James Dean-poses, his Ford Thunderbird, which is unfairly taken from him, the girl’s ritualistic preparations during which she dances languidly while applying her vampy make-up. Amirpour borrows from the vampire film, but also from film noir, from the western, from Jarmusch and Leone and Lynch.
A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night is not only recommended for connoisseurs of the vampire genre. As with the endearing coming-of-age drama Let the Right One In, or Clare Dennis’s dark masterpiece, Trouble Every Day, this film transcends the genre. This elegant, almost cheerful vampire film fits comfortably in the same niche as these others. But what makes it completely exceptional is that this film, which has won numerous prizes, is the first vampire film by an Iranian director.