Starring: Nina Hoss, Anna Fischer, Jennifer Ulrich, Karoline Herfurth, Max Riemelt
Running Time: 95 minutes
Extras: Making Of, Deleted Scenes, Alternate Endings, VFX Documentary, Shooting Diary
Things have moved on a long way since Christopher Lee camped it up in DRACULA back in 1958. WE ARE THE NIGHT is a new take on the vampire saga, and mighty effective it is too.
Filmed in 2010 by director Dennis Gansel, the film focuses on three vampires: Charlotte (Ulrich), Louise (Hoss), and Nora (Fischer), each doomed to eternity on earth looking for different things: Louise seeks the love of a fellow Vampire; Charlotte wants nothing more than to be taken back to the 1920s when she was an actress and had a family; and Nora wants to party, shop, and fornicate. Louise’s quest for love brings her to Lena (Herfurth) who she promptly turns, and showers with adoration in the hope of love blossoming.
WE ARE THE NIGHT is a films of two halves: the first is a by-the-numbers vampire story – people get bitten, there are parties, and mortals are overpowered like infants. The second part is much more satisfying taking the audience into the heart of the issue, and asking the question, What would you seek if you were immortal? This simple premise from writer/director Gansel, and co-writer Jay Berger helps WE ARE THE NIGHT stand head and shoulders above the usual neck-biting fare.
The making of on the DVD tells us WE ARE THE NIGHT was a labour of love for Gansel and Berger, and this shows. The attention to detail in the characters is great to see, and it’s something missing from so many films. The effects aren’t jaw-dropping due to the low-ish budget but when you’re dealing with a script this strong they don’t need to be. The acting is also top-notch: Hoss and Herfurth are standouts, whilst Tom (Riemelt), as the policeman and love interest of Lena, is a breath of fresh air playing a role usually titled ‘weak female character’. He plays it with gusto and belief.
WE ARE THE NIGHT is not a horror film. If you come looking for scares you’ll be sorely disappointed. What the film does is take vampires flip them around a bit, give them some life and come up with something pretty damn good just as LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (2008), and NEAR DARK (1987) did.
Extras: The alternate endings are effective, if a little unnecessary, as are the deleted scenes. The making of and video diary are great fun, as is the VFX piece. All in all a very nice package.
WE ARE THE NIGHT is released on DVD 15th October.