“You are destroyed by their world…or you create your own.” We are the night (2010) is a ravishing take on the vampire film, showing the difference between the gritty human world and the lavish vampire world of the night. It’s protagonist, a feisty thief on the streets of Berlin, is transformed into a creature of the night and caught in the struggle of two worlds (neither of which she feels she belongs).
Yet this film is not in the same league as the vampire films of recent days, it is much more unique and gripping as it reveals the true bloody nature of a vampire. This is an enormous leap from the pining teenage romance of Twilight (2008), and has much more in common with the fun yet sexy themes of The lost boys (1987) and the nuance of Hammer.
Karoline Herfurth is Lena, a young woman in dangerous circumstances. We first meet Lena after she has mugged a pimp and is running from the police. She lives a lonely, dirty life of thieving to survive. Yet the chance for change is handed to her by Louise (Nina Hoss), the leader of a vampire clan who is in search of her lost love. The other two members of the clan are Nora (Anna Fischer), an excitable youth and Charlotte (Jenifer Ulrich), a depressed, bored character with a guilty conscience. These four women live their lives without men (all male vampires were wiped out due to being too “loud”, “Greedy” and “Stupid”.) by partying, shopping and killing.
This film is homage to the vampires of the Hammer horrors. Dedicating part of the story to Louise’s attempt to seduce Lena as she believes she is her past lover reincarnated. This is an important part of Lena’s story arc as she is torn between Louise’s obsessive affection and her connection with Tom (Max Riemelt) a police officer. The narrative also leads to emotional places that are a beautiful and heart breaking edition. Charlotte’s character is plagued with guilt for leaving her daughter alone and slowly seeing her age. This guilt and depression is hidden beneath Charlotte’s hard exterior.
During the climax of the film the pace increases as the police are hunting the vampires. This causes a conflict between both the police and the vampires, and Lena and Louise. The effects of the film are truly revealed towards the end when the vampires fight with all their abilities revealed, gravity has no meaning in this fight and is riveting to watch. Not to mention there is nothing quite as interesting as seeing how a film tackles vampires burning in the sun.
Although this film is not quite as narratively advance as Tomas Alfredson’s Let the right one in (2008) it still is a brilliant addition to the vampire films available. We are the night is an extraordinarily underrated film, which truly reveals the many consequences of being vampire rather than glamorising it.
Let the right one in (2008) Directed by Tomas Alfredson [Film] Sweden: Sandrew Metronome Distribution AB
The lost boys (1987) Directed by Joel Schumacher [Film] USA: Warner Bros.
Twilight (2008) Directed by Catherine Hardwicke [Film] USA: Summit Distribution
We are the night (2010) Directed by Denis Gansel [Film] Germany: Constantin Film
Howland, M. (2011) ‘All-girl vampire thriller “We are the night” trailer and poster’ We are movie geeks, 17 May. Available at: http://www.wearemoviegeeks.com/2011/05/all-girl-vampire-thriller-we-are-the-night-trailer-poster/ (Accessed: 9 November 2015)