I have ranted and raved in these very web pages about the death of the vampire genre. This is largely due to a certain bloodless, gutless teen book turned multi-billion dollar money making movie series (which is now finally at an end!) that I dare not mention for fear of getting enraged all over again.
Thankfully We are the Night is nothing like the aforementioned bore-fest and is at last an original and innovative vampire movie. This film is straight out of Germany and is filled with sex, excess, horror and violence that reminds the viewer why they fell in love with neck biting in the first place.
The plot follows a trio of fanged femme fatals who live the high life in Berlin, raving, romping and ravaging humans as they wish without any cares in their undead world, save where the next party or meal is.
All this changes however when their leader Louise (Nina Hoss) takes an interest in young thief Lena (Karoline Herfurth from Perfume: The Story of a Murderer) who reminds her of a lost love from times gone by.
Lena has problems of her own already, as after stealing from a Russian mobster she is on the run from the crime syndicate and police Inspector Tom Serner (Max Riemelt), both of whom are determined to track her down. Fleeing them all she ends up in Louise’s club and her clutches where she is bitten and transformed into a vampire before she even knows what is happening to her.
Leaving her old life behind, Lena embraces her new friends revelling in both the powers and the lifestyle she has been granted. But soon the killing and craving overcomes her and she realizes that the gift she has been given is also a curse that she cannot handle.
Although many vampire films have updated the myth to modern day displaying twentieth century Dracula’s as rich, powerful, city dwelling aristocrats (from Blade to Daybreakers) where We are the Night treads a familiar story, it subverts and excels in other areas.
It’s definitely true to say that in We are the Night women do ‘rule the night’ and this is one of the most original innovations of the movie. As Louise explains to Lena early on, there are no male vampires as they all killed each other or died off, leading to female domination. This faintly feminist twist on tradition is interestingly explored via the characters and their relationships with the world and one another. It all adds a refreshing injection of new blood to the vampire genre.
The fearless female foursome that the film focuses on are extremely interesting characters from the ice cold head vamp Louise to crazy cute party girl Nora (Anna Fischer) who has an insane streak to the morbid 20’s flapper girl Charlotte (Jennifer Ulrich) obsessed with her past life.
On top of these four is Lena who goes from urban punk squalor a la Girl with the Dragon Tattoo to sexy stylish blood sucking babe, transforming her character mentally and physically in a brilliant special effects sequences seen after she is bitten.
Added to the great effects are some brilliant action scenes, varying from slick, stylised shoot-outs and chases in expensive cars to gritty, real violence seen in the attacks on Lena (which happen early on in the story) all shot expertly by director Dennis Gansel, who co-wrote the screenplay.
Fast cars, hard drugs, blood letting, sex and violence… All led by a quartet of beautiful and brilliant vicious vixen vampires. It’s a combination that makes We are the Night a great horror that takes a step in the right direction in reclaiming and reinventing the vampire genre.
We are the Night is the perfect adult horror antidote to the boring, banal and sexless teen angst Twilight saga…
I promised myself I wouldn’t mention it!