This weekend the Walker Cinema starts its weekend run of the Sundance hit A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. Director Ana Lily Amirpour was nominated today for Breakthrough Director for the Gotham Independent Film Awards. Amirpour started making short horror films at age 12 and makes her directorial debut (produced by Elijah Wood) in this feature about love, loneliness, and a skateboarding vampire.
So far only a French-subtitled trailer exists, but this in no way deters from appreciating the enveloping black-and-white contrast Amirpour skillfully uses to tie us to Bad City—a place ridden with sorrow and desperate characters.
Simultaneously chilling and charming, Amirpour’s casting of Sheila Vand as the vampire (“The Girl”) is one of the more remarkable leads I’ve seen in awhile. Vand instills the same level of terror as Halloween’s Michael Myers—a slow and silent walk in pursuit of her victims, with sudden appearances as she makes her attacks. Otherwise, she travels around at night on her skateboard and one evening encounters Arash—a human she instantly sympathizes with as he innocently asks for help getting home.
Amirpour plays with the horror genre in an entirely new way, as we soon see equal instances of Vand protecting certain townspeople and killing others. It’s a film in which all the characters are victims—both of themselves and the consequences of their choices, but the combination of romance, horror, and western ultimately delivers a tale of fun.