Horrorfest 2015 Presents: A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (2014, Ana Lily Amirpour)


There is an Iranian city named Bad City. It is not a great place to live and trouble abounds everywhere. In this wild west setting also lies a skateboarding vampire. If this appeals to you, well then this is your movie. A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night is a magnificent and beautiful combination of different genres, all centered around horror and the western. Shot in glorious black and white, no less. This does have the feel of other dramatic films, and director Ana Lily Amirpour builds upon those influences to craft something unique.

The Girl (Sheila Vand) is a woman with no name. There are few insights into who she is or why she lives in a desolate place, yet we get a terrifying image of her nature early on. Arash (Arash Marandi) is the young man who falls under her spell, resulting a tender and dangerous romance-dangerous for him because of her predator nature. The scene with the two of them in her apartment is lyrical in a romantic sense: two lonely souls, bound together, which is how so many people connect in this world.

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As much as I love this film the last act does kind of borrow/steal from another modern classic, Let The Right One In. However I prefer this film (it’s long title also amused me as much as it was intriguing). I rather enjoy that it’s an Iranian that gives us an exceptional feminist driven horror film given the nation’s culture. I also note this due to online friends encouraging myself and others to watch more films directed by women. This movie is a fine move in that direction.

Horrorfest 2015 Presents: The Final Terror (1983, Andrew Davis)


 

Andrew Davis’ cult classic slasher thriller The Final Terror is everything I wanted in a slasher film from the 80s. It’s a harrowing, eerie and suspenseful film that once things go south becomes relentless. I like that there is literally no soundtrack at times, and the film’s cast is quite famous for a low budget 80s horror movie. Davis went on to big budget films such as Under Siege and The Fugitive, two other famous thrillers. The wilderness setting is perfect for such a movie, although granted the I it doors was featured in many slasher movies released during that era.

The cast doesn’t hurt either: you have a young Daryl Hannah, Rachel Ward, Adrian Zmed and Joe Pantoliano. Although there are some typical slasher cliches I liked that this film has its own surprises and is better directed than many films of the early 80s. Davis showcased a natural talent early on and went on to fulfill that promise. If only more 80s slasher had been as great as this one.

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