Of course it’s the first Iranian-American vampire movie, but filmmaker Ana Lily Amirpour’s stylish and seductive gothic fantasy is a provocative piece of work in its own right. Essentially, a young man (Arash Marandi) encounters a mysterious woman in black (Sheila Vand) one evening and things are never again the same for either of them. Is the setting Iran or California? Does it matter? Writer-director Amirpour, who’s based in Los Angeles, pays homage to European and American masters of the horror film while weaving her own spell in an ominous night town called Bad City. Shot in sensuous black and white, with colorful support by Marshall Manesh, Dominic Rains, Rome Shadanloo, Mozhan Marnó, and young Milad Eghbali as the kid on the skateboard. What’s he doing out skating during the witching hours? A winning feature debut from a talented artist. In Farsi with English subtitles (99 min.).
Director: Ana Amirpour
Producer: Ana Amirpour, Justin Begnaud, Sheri Davani, Sina Sayyah, Ben Conrad, Daniel Grove, Patrick Grove and Nick Moceri
Cast: Sheila Vand, Arash Marandi, Marshall Manesh, Mozhan Marnò, Dominic Rains, Rome Shadanloo, Reza Safai and Milad Eghbali