Jess Commons | Deputy Editor | Friday, 22 May 2015

5 Reasons Why You Need To Watch The New Iranian Vampire Film

5 Reasons Why You Need To Watch A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night

The Debrief: Ana Lily Amirpour’s Iranian vampire film is the best reason to get yourself to a cinema this week

A black and white Iranian vampire spaghetti Western might not on paper seem like the best film choice for your weekend but, stick with us on this, it's flipping brilliant, and very you.

Based on graphic novels, the film's set in Bad City, a fictional Iranian Town that's somewhere between reality and purgatory. Ditches filled with bodies line the streets, while drug addicts, dealers and prostitutes are seemingly the sole inhabitants. The streets are ruled by Saeed, a tracksuit-wearing pimp until one day, a mysterious girl arrives in town.

It’s well-timed

A Girl Walks Home At Night as a title makes you imagine the girl as a victim. Instead, she’s a predator. ‘She’s definitely the kind of character who is not what she seems,’ Says Sheila (Vand, the actress who plays the vampire) when I mention that the film’s concept seems very timely with all the talk of street harassment that’s happening at the moment. ‘I think it engages the audience if you flip the script on them.’

‘The Girl’ is a complex character…

‘I always feel like she’s making the most of the circumstances.’ Says Sheila. ‘She has to kill, she has no choice and she figures if she’s going to kill she might as well kill bad people. She’s maintaining some sort of moral compass, even though she’s a killer.’

… and is providing people with a role model…

‘I think it has been shown in Iran – but on the black market’ Says Sheila. ‘Its definitely been happening underground, though. There’s been a great response from girls who feel empowered by it and are inspired by it. A girl who’s dressed in a very iconically traditional Iranian hijab but still being a badass? I think it’s a new voice for Persians that people are getting excited about.’

Mister Masuka is excellent

I mean, yes. Mr Masuka is a cat. But a very fine cat he is too. In fact, he delivers the twist that the whole plot hangs on. ‘Mr Masuka is a particularly fat cat’ says Sheila when I ask how they managed to get him to behave so well on set. ‘He’s not as crazy as your average cat because he’s fat. Plus it was his first movie so I think he was just really excited to make his debut!’

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