Academic journal article Journal of Religion and Film

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

Academic journal article Journal of Religion and Film

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

Article excerpt

If the information that this is "the first Iranian vampire film" doesn't pique your interest, don't worry, there's more to this tale than a straightforward horror flick. Shot in black and white cinematography, each shot is beautiful, reminiscent of both spaghetti westerns and Hitchcock at times, and making it an overall pleasure to watch.

The action takes place in "Bad City," a place with some post-industrial desolation and an almost blasé attitude about death, drugs and violence. In the first five minutes, the protagonist, a young man whose father is a drug addict, walks past a gully filled with bodies without so much as turning his head.

It is quickly established that Arash is a good son, holding a job and taking care of his father. But, pushed to steal due to his father's debt to the local drug dealer, it becomes clear that he is on a precipice, and potentially moving into a future path in petty crime.

It is at this point that he meets The Girl, a slight young woman, wearing black and white and religious head covering. When asked, "Are you religious or something?," she replies, no; but religious or not, she is the moral core of the film. The Girl appears when people are about to be victimized.

Drug dealers, addicts, and prostitutes are judged harshly by her. Those with pure intents and morals are guided, not gently, but disturbingly, as she threatens them and tells them to remain good. Here we also see a vampire who is pensive, reflective, and feels guilty. She is beautiful and young in one minute, and old and wise the next. …

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