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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

We Are The Night

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By Craig R.

In recent years, significant damage has been done to the vampire genre. Vampires that sparkle in the daylight, instead of burning to a crisp, and don’t have fangs? Marrying mortals? Even Francis Ford Coppolla couldn’t resist, making Dracula long for a lost love. Vampires are blood-thirsty killers. They can be cool, and sexy, but in the end, they are killers. In general, many contemporary vampire movies ignore the traditional canon of the genre (weaknesses, appearance, etc.).

Not in this film

 We Are The Night is a German vampire film that sticks mostly to the canon. It is about a trio of female vampires: Louise, Charlotte, and Nora. Located in Berlin (I have a hard time using “living”, when referring to vampires), throw huge rave-like parties, (recklessly) drive expensive cars, seducing, and wantonly feeding on mortals, and live in a luxury hotel. One night Lena, a young criminal, attends one of their parties. In short order, Louise turns her.
Lena has a hard time adjusting to being one of the undead, which leads Louise to take measures to help her accept the reality sooner. Unfortunately this leaves behind a trail of bodies, which attracts the attention of the police, chiefly, Tom, an officer that had met Lena when she was still a mortal. This leads to him tracking her down, and them striking up a friendship, somewhat romantic, which further affects Lena’s ability to adjust to her new life, and eventually leads to bad things happening, for our ladies of the night.

Tom and Lena’s relationship is not obtrusive to the story, but flows quite freely into it. This film, unlike many that I have seen, addresses the longing for their mortal life, and those that they’ve left behind, as well as the reluctance to accept the new existence. For me, the most effective scene was one where one of the ladies visits her dying daughter, who was a child when she was turned, in a nursing home. There is also an interesting conversation of the group’s type of feminism, and creating new vampires.

The effects are done quite well, there is quite a bit of blood, though fangs are rarely seen. Lena’s transformation from a mortal to a vampire was done very well, unlike any that I can recall. The action sequences are done quite well, daylight car chases, with special cars, shootouts with the police, and of course vampire fights. Thankfully, even though the vampires perform superhuman feats (walking on walls, and ceilings, for example), there’s none of that Matrixy, Wire-Fu-type garbage. As far as possibly objectionable content, the only nudity is, unfortunately a (thankfully) a very brief glimpse of some dudes’ junk, and there is a moment when Louise kisses Lena.

My only real problem with the film is that rather than using subtitles, it is dubbed into English. While this is perfectly appropriate for Kung Fu, and Godzilla movies, that are watched purely for fun, it is not for a “serious” film. In the “fun” movies, the dialogue merely connects the action sequences, so the quality isn’t as important. Actually, bad dubbing (out of sync, inappropriate voice) makes those types of movies more entertaining.  However, when that happens with a more serious film, it can be distracting, and takes away from the seriousness. Unfortunately that is the case with We Are The Night. Lena’s voice actually sounds like one that one would hear in a Kung Fu movie.

I highly recommend this film. It is one of the most interesting vampire movies that I've seen in a while. It is Not Rated, dubbed into English, and has a runtime of 1 hour, 40 minutes. It is available on Netflix Streaming.

I give We Are The Night three out of four Hot German Vampires.


  1. I agree w/ the subtitles vs dubbed distraction factor. Bad dubs have ruined the movie-watching experience for me (i.e. Let The Right One In). I saw the dubbed into English version, rather than the subtitled one, and was constantly reminded of a bad Kevin Costner/Robin Hood valley boy accent. But this was a great review, and I will now add it to my must-see list! Thanks guys!

  2. Thanks, Kat. When given a choice, I always choose subtitles. I may have to occasionally rewind. I guess hearing the original language also helps with the experience. Most of the voices in this one are okay, but I wasn't exaggerating about Lena.