Writer and director Ana Lily Amirpour's debut feature film, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, just premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and it's without a doubt the best Iranian vampire noir you'll see all year. The film, which VICE Films is helping to distribute worldwide, is a brooding, minimalist twist on the classic vampire flick—Amirpour's bloodsuckers comb their hair back with Pomade, drive muscle cars, and wander Iranian streets at night.
Wanting to shoot an Iranian film but knowing the near impossible hoops a filmmaker has to jump through in Iran, Amirpour found a desolate oil town in California, transformed it into a fictional Iranian locale called Bad City, and got to writing. As she began to flesh out the script, Amirpour started imagining backstories for her vampires and their world that she knew would never make the cut. Those stories became Death Is the Answer, a graphic novel companion that was released concurrently with the film's premiere.
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night opened to overwhelming critical praise. The New York Times's resident movie buff, A. O. Scott, called it a "rock 'n' roll Persian feminist fable," and the Hollywood Reporter fawned over the "moody and gorgeous" film.
The movie feels like what would happen if Iranian new wave director Abbas Kiarostami decided to remake a spaghetti Western but got bored during pre-production and opted to shoot the whole thing like a hardboiled detective film. And then threw in some vampires. It's fantastic.
We're really excited to share the trailer with you—check it out above.