Early adulthood can be a melancholy time. You're on the cusp of everything, your whole life before you -- it should be exhilarating. But you're also expected to be an adult, not a child. Those silly moments that seize you -- what are you supposed to do with those? Life is full of possibility, and you're independent, but that also means you're virtually resourceless; this is the time of crappy entry level jobs, ramen for dinner, and milk carton furniture. Saying hello to adulthood is saying goodbye, in many ways, to youth. But not if you're the titular girl in Ana Lily Amirpour's A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. She's a vampire, permanently ensconced in that in-between space. The whole movie manages to occupy that space, actually, with long, slow scenes in which characters stare into the darkness or make slow-motion passes at each other. Everyone is in a sort of stasis, waiting for a chance, for drugs, for a trick to turn, for a way out.
That is, until the Girl shows up and starts sinking her teeth into people. You'd think this would be a startling change -- and the attacks are startling, and bloody -- but what the Girl wants is unclear; blood, yes, but what else? She steals but squirrels her loot away in her apartment; she stalks a little boy but does nothing more than give him a fright. She rolls through Iranian streets on a skateboard and dances, trance-like, to the greatest movie soundtrack of all time. She's bored, and lonely till she meets Arash and chooses not to bite him. Here's where the Girl starts making decisions that change everything -- that open doors to a new chapter, potentially, in the lives of a couple of young adults.
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is billed as a horror movie, and it has its shocking moments. But the real horror here is the kind that haunts you before you embark on something new.
- This article describes the film as Sergio Leone meets David Lynch -- accurate.
- I love this interview with the director and the star of the film.
- This blog entry feels a little low-energy to me, and lest you infer from it that I didn't like the movie: I really liked this movie. This has just been a busy time, and it's currently almost 10 p.m. -- way past my pathetic grandma-Jamey bedtime.
- This is the greatest cat in the history of cinema: