When one hears a title like A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, the automatic assumption is that the story is going to somehow end in rape. Conversely, this movie, described as an Iranian vampire spaghetti Western by director Ana Lily Amirpour, lends a sense of female empowerment to its audience. 

The girl

The girl

Centered around the lives of a handful of lonely souls inhabiting a town called Bad City, Amirpour first introduces us to Arash (Arash Marandi), an attractive James Dean type who drives an expensive car and has to deal with the harassment of a drug dealer named Saeed (Dominic Rains), who takes possession of Arash's car as collateral for the debt owed by his father, Hossein (Marshall Manesh), as a result of his heroin addiction.

Meanwhile, an ominous hijab-garbed woman known only as "The Girl" is stalking the streets of Bad City, following the likes of Saeed in order to protect others from his harmful ways. After watching his behavior for a time, she decides to kill him one evening when he spots her walking home and asks her back to his house. What he sees as her coy seduction suddenly transmutes into the baring of her fangs and her final death bite. It is at this point that Arash, who has stolen a pair of expensive earrings from his employer in order to bargain with to get his car back, decides to visit Saeed. He sees The Girl leaving the house and immediately goes inside to find Saeed, along with his father's debt, is finished.

He steals Saeed's suitcase full of drugs and money, and fulfills his new role as a replacement local dealer. One night, while doling out X at a costume party dressed as Dracula, Arash is offered a drug by his now ex-employer and ultimately finds himself serenely wandering the streets of Bad City, whereupon he encounters The Girl. Their connection to one another is instant, and she takes him back to her Madonna memorabilia decorated apartment (perhaps some sort of subconscious symbolism about vampiric immortality) where they listen to music and engage in one of the most drawn out buildups to a kiss in cinema history. 

Reinvigorated by finding one another, it seems as though both of them might change their ways, or at least merge their habits into one formless collective of neuroses. The Girl's latest kill, however, threatens the balance of their newfound relationship. The noirish feel (which in part stems from the fact that it was filmed in Southern California in spite of being in Persian), combined with the vampire genre--which has been twisted and turned a lot lately--is enough to make this film, surprisingly made by VICE, an instant classic.