We Are The Night. Film Review


Starring: Karoline Herfurth, Nina Hoss, Jennifer Ulrich, Anna Fischer, Max Riemelt

Director: Dennis Gansel

Rating: 15

Duration: 100 mins

Reviewed by Guy Adams

Oh, but you have to work hard to please me with a vampire movie. It’s become the equivalent of a cheap prawn cocktail, tasteless food trotted out at lazy dinner parties. 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 a movie, coming to each disc or screening clean and waiting to form a fair and unbiased opinion. Yeah… we’re supposed to. It’s hard though, it really is. The minute I see a grinning teen looming down a hand-held digital camcorder in the ‘the latest found footage sensation’ I am fighting a genuine sense of dread and despair. Likewise a pair of fangs. ‘Sexy and stylish’ the press notes assure me. ‘Yeah right,’ I think, ‘in the same way that any hotel that describes itself as “classy” will be a haven of bed lice and really shitty coffee sachets.’

But you know what? Sometimes we miserable gits are rewarded. We Are The Night was a genuine pleasure. ‘Sexy and stylish?’ Well, certainly the latter and the former will always be so subjective as to be beyond criticism in a movie where it’s intended purely as 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 In or The Hunger. We’ve seen much of this before, (we’ve even heard the soundtrack, the composer claiming to have been “inspired” by Hans Zimmer’s score for The Dark Knight which he clearly was, down to grabbing fistfuls of it note by note) yet 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 set in Los Angeles and presented with the usual straight-to-download, Big Mac, false gloss then it would be intolerable. But the city seeps into the movie and the cast act their socks off giving us the sort of grim conviction that rarely seems to come without subtitles these days.

A string of memorable set pieces, diverse characterization and an overall sense of class makes We Are The Night more than worth your while.