Dir: Dennis Gansel
Starring: Karoline Herfurth, Nina Hoss, Jennifer Ulrich
Right off the bat I have to say We Are The Night was an incredibly entertaining film, and certainly one of the better vampire films I’ve seen out of the recent crop. It had elements of The Lost Boys and Near Dark, as well as that feel of the vampire films that came out of America in the late 90’s, but with that distinct European feel. This isn’t as dark as something like Let The Right One In, it certainly has a bit more of a fun feel to it which gives it a very broad appeal.
The film’s director Dennis Gansel has made mention that We Are The Night is his version of the classic gothic story of Camilla, and that shows through. Of course that story has inspired quite a few films including Vampyr (1932), The Vampire Lovers (1970) and The Blood Spattered Bride (1972) just to name a few. The story of Camilla actually predates Dracula, and it is certainly a very interesting one and it is easy to see why it has had such an influence. The story for this film may seem like it is by the numbers but it really gives its own take on that and it works well.
Lena (Karoline Herfurth) is clearly a girl who gets herself into a lot of trouble (including the police) and basically has no sense of direction in her life. That changes however when she meets Louise (Nina Hoss), who shows her attention and brings in a strong attraction. Louise bites Lena, and Lena begins to transform into a creature of the night. She tracks down Louise and her gang Nora (Anna Fischer) and Charlotte (Jennifer Ulrich), and joins them in their crazy and fun games, all the while being tracked down by the police led by Tom (Max Riemelt). Things of course turn sour, but you will need to watch to find out the rest.
Firstly this is a beautiful looking film, it has some stunning visuals and some truly memorable scenes. I have to give it props for looking so wonderful despite the film mainly taking place during the night. It was well handled and it didn’t came off as clichéd as vampire films can easily fall into that trap. It also felt very fresh, in a market that has many a vampire film and TV shows, Gansel managed to make this feel different. The film was written in the 90’s and after many delays finally got made, despite those set backs it really doesn’t miss a beat.
The performances are all very good, the ladies are just great. Karoline Herfurth was just perfect as Lena; she carried this strange innocent about her that worked. Even after she transforms she still carries this almost shyness about her but really brings across a change as well. Nina Hoss looked stunning and she really brought in that insatiable feeling, Louise is an enticing character and Hoss brought that forward. I really liked Jennifer Ulrich, she let her face tell her story and it worked for her character. Anna Fischer was the more care free and fun of the bunch and she was rather cute. Max Riemelt didn’t fair as well as the ladies but did just fine.
The film is really enjoyable, and it is quite a good ride. My preview copy sadly only had the English dub, which was not very good. I highly recommend checking this out with the original German language with English subtitles. In all the film came together really well, while the story could have used a bit more meat, it is a successful one.
The Australian DVD:
The DVD I reviewed was a screener, so I am unable to comment on Picture/Audio quality.
DVD details here.
Thanks to Bill, care of Eagle Entertainment for the copy.