It took me an embarrassingly long time to see A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night. Shit, I have a hard enough time remembering the title. When mentioning it out loud I have been calling it A Girl Walks Home At Midnight. Close enough right? Not at all.
I knew it was supposed to be scary, but I also knew it was extremely stylized and also with subtitles. So it is one of those films I need to be in the right mood for in order to even begin to appreciate it.
I like new and exciting things! But potential super artsy foreign films are obviously one of my weaknesses. They usually don’t involve cool super heroes or things blowing up.
Well, I guess she is sort of in a costume.
AGWHAAN takes place in a make believe town called Bad City in Iran. You can tell it is make believe, because it is called Bad City.
It is a very small city, not a lot of people involved, but enough people for drugs. There is only one gangster asshole, Saeed (Dominic Rains), a pimp and drug dealer. He is a bad dude, and he has gotten Hossein (Marshall Manesh) hooked on drugs! That is bad for Hossein, for many obvious reasons, but even worse for Arash (Arash Marandi), our hero(?) and Hossein’s son.
Arash had his car taken by Saeed because his dad owes money. That suchs for Arash, who worked hard to get that slick sexy car! Oh, and Saeed also is abusive to his women, like Atti (Mozhan Marnò).
Which is why he gets fucked up by a vampire! The Girl (Sheila Vand) totally goes all vampire on him! You know, the one who walks home alone. At night.
The Girl isn’t just some random blood sucking fiend. No, she has morals. She killed Saeed because he was a bad dude. And there are more bad people in this small town. But is Arash a bad dude or his he just desperate?
Hopefully she knows for sure before she sucks his blood too. Also featuring Rome Shadanloo.
Arash is a James Dean looking motherfucker. I don’t mean the male porn star of the similar name.
AGWHAAN is definitely an interesting film, and an even more interesting acronym. There is both a lot and only a little that goes on, so what does end up happening has to be paid attention to for the film to drive home its message.
The message being that it can make a pretty killer soundtrack.
That and the visuals were the best parts. Each frame was shot meticulously in order to heighten you senses to what is going on. AGWHAAN is not a standard horror in any shape or form. There are no jump scares, no real scares at all, just several tense moments. Quite a few longer shots are done in this film, often with just characters staring at at each other, with dialogue at the very minimum.
At the same time, it is easy to understand that someone would say not a lot happens in this film. It is true. It can feel quite long and drawn out with not enough gusto behind the scenes to keep your interest. So I see it in two ways. If the film can keep your interest the whole time, you will go on a pretty unique experience when it comes to modern vampire films. If it doesn’t, it will feel like a lot of wasted potential, with some cool shit that occassionall happens.
Which unfortunately for my street cred, the latter is how I see it. Some cool shit happens, and a lot of other drawn out scenes. Oh well. It is still a stylistically beautiful film, the black and white do a lot of favors. Just not my cup of blood, so to speak.
2 out of 4.