Starring: Karoline Herfurth, Nina Hoss, Jennifer Ulrich, Anna Fischer, Max Riemelt
Director: Dennis Gansel
Duration: 100 mins
Reviewed by Guy Adams
Oh, but you have to work hard to please me with a vampire movie. It’s become theÂ equivalent of a cheap prawn cocktail, tasteless food trotted out at lazy dinner parties.Â Bland and predictable. I resent each and every watery prawn, every shred of limp lettuce.
Reviewers are supposed to leave such preconceived notions behind when viewing aÂ movie, coming to each disc or screening clean and waiting to form a fair and unbiasedÂ opinion. Yeah… we’re supposed to. It’s hard though, it really is. The minute I see aÂ grinning teen looming down a hand-held digital camcorder in the ‘the latest foundÂ footage sensation’ I am fighting a genuine sense of dread and despair. Likewise a pair ofÂ fangs. ‘Sexy and stylish’ the press notes assure me. ‘Yeah right,’ I think, ‘in the same wayÂ that any hotel that describes itself as “classy” will be a haven of bed lice and really shittyÂ coffee sachets.’
But you know what? Sometimes we miserable gits are rewarded. We Are The NightÂ was a genuine pleasure. ‘Sexy and stylish?’ Well, certainly the latter and the former willÂ always be so subjective as to be beyond criticism in a movie where it’s intended purely asÂ window dressing.
I’m not sure why I enjoyed it as much as I did as it lacks the originality of, say, Let The Right One InÂ or The Hunger. We’ve seen much of this before, (we’ve even heard theÂ soundtrack, the composer claiming to have been “inspired” by Hans Zimmer’s score forÂ The Dark Knight which he clearly was, down to grabbing fistfuls of it note by note) yetÂ it is handled with such assurance and, yes, style that it really doesn’t seem to matter.
In part it’s the movie’s Berlin location that gives things an extra freshness. If this were setÂ in Los Angeles and presented with the usual straight-to-download, Big Mac, false glossÂ then it would be intolerable. But the city seeps into the movie and the cast act their socksÂ off giving us the sort of grim conviction that rarely seems to come without subtitles theseÂ days.
A string of memorable set pieces, diverse characterization and an overall sense of classÂ makes We Are The NightÂ more than worth your while.