Ana Lily Amirpour’s hipster flick, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, is a little like the Director herself: a product of many cultures. Part Iranian New Wave, part Spaghetti Western, part budget indie, this monochrome delight channels Abbas Kiarostami, Sergio Leone and David Lynch in a mashup that will leave the viewer breathless, shouting “Author, Author.”
Bad Town is a place inhabited by Pimps, Prostitutes, Drug Dealers and Junkies. It’s there, amongst the sand-blown streets and endless rows of nodding donkeys, that Boy meets Girl. However, what Boy, played by James Dean look-a-like Arash Marandi, doesn’t know is that Girl (the ethereal Sheila Vand) is definitely not the sort you should take home to meet the Dad.
Although the narrative relies more on mood than dialogue and plot, Girl Walks Home can be viewed both as a love story and a morality tale, with Vand as the key player in both scenarios. There are some genuinely unnerving moments too especially when Vand’s doe-eyed vampire finally reveals her teeth.
Pinter would probably have found some of the film’s dramatic pauses just a little too long for comfort but the atmosphere of moody, bedroom rebellion that Amirpour conjures up works well and is rich in whimsy. A vampire with a penchant for ‘80s pop and skateboarding? Why the hell not.
Girl Walks Home is a slow burn tale buoyed by a soundtrack that plays like Morricone, Tom Waites and The Cure put through an Iranian filter to produce something familiar yet oddly disquieting. Yes, this is another vampire tale. No, you haven’t seen anything quite like it before. And yes, it really is something special.