October 14, 2012

Filthy Review - 'We Are The Night'

We Are The Night (2011)

Review by Jude Felton

Last year I watched the German vampire movie, We Are The Night (Wir Sind Die Nacht), and have to say that for the most part I did enjoy it. I was less than thrilled that it debuted on VOD with an English dubbed audio track, as IFC make a habit of doing, but the chance to revisit the movie for its English release was a welcome one.

This DVD release from Momentum Pictures does have the German audio track available, as well as an English dubbed track, and I recommend watching that version. Dubbing not only distracts from the film itself, the chances are is that you aren’t hearing the actors voices, just some poor character stuck in a booth, who won’t get any credit for making the movie annoying!

Anyway, back to the film itself. We Are The Night introduces us to three female vampires, Louise, Charlotte and Nora, who jet around Europe in search of unwilling victims. Their base of operation though is Berlin, in Germany, and it is here that they do most of their damage. Enter into their midst Lena, a young pickpocket to whom Louise has taken a liking to, who joins their small group.

We Are The Night is, in its own way, very much a love story, as Louise has searched through the centuries for her one true love. Could Lena be the one? Well, for a start, Lena doesn’t quite take to the vampiric lifestyle as quickly as Louise might like, and the story follows certain elements of films such as The Lost Boys and Near Dark. In terms of the movie’s brutality though, it definitely leans towards Near Dark, even if it doesn’t ever quite reach the level of violence that that film does. We Are The Night is nonetheless a fairly bloody movie, with these vampires being of the cold and ruthless variety.

The film itself is very much a case of style over substance, with the visuals being terrific and the sound is fairly booming out of the speakers. This, in effect, masks some of the films shortcomings in the plot department, which is quite truthfully not the most original take on the vampire story. Regardless of this, the film is still entertaining and the pacing ensures that it never drags.

Director Dennis Gansel definitely has an eye for the visual aspects of film, as is evidenced from this film and his previous movie The Wave, so if he could get a little more out of his scripts I could foresee much greater things from this German director.

As it stands, We Are The Night, is a cool movie, it’s a very modern looking film, but also one that fills us in on the vampires histories without taking away from the present events. The blood flows freely, including a cracking death scene involving a page from a book, and the four leads all put in top performances as four very different characters. There is also a side-plot concerning Lena’s pickpocketing exploits, which takes the film in a fairly predictable direction, but it doesn’t distract too much from the main story.

I’ve watched this movie a couple of times now, and I have to say that I did enjoy it more on my second viewing. It’s good solid filmmaking, albeit with a few glitches here and there, and keeps vampires firmly where they should be; and that’s ripping throats and sucking blood. Not perfect, but still a good ride while it lasts.

We Are The Night is released on UK DVD on October 15th by Momentum Pictures.

No comments: