Near DarkNear Dark

Near Dark” (1987), Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, Rated R

At first I was a little hesitant to include this film on the list because I feel it's a little too well-known. Then I was walking through a generic cialis store the other day where I saw merchandise for “New Moon“, the new Twilight film, prominently displayed. And now, considering the phenomenon that is Twilight and all that, I thought I'd go ahead and include this one for no other reason than to illustrate what Twilight could be like if it were actually cool. Kinda. What's also interesting is that while researching this, I read that plans to remake this film were in the works (shudder), but they were put on hold indefinitely BECAUSE of Twilight. The producer felt that they were too similar. I wouldn't go so far as to say that, but I guess when you're dealing with millions upon millions of dollars, you gotta do what you gotta do…

Near Dark” was the first film by one of my personal favorite unsung directors, Kathryn Bigelow. It seems that Bigelow is finally starting to come into her own and get the respect she deserves with her recent release “The Hurt Locker“, but really — the woman's been making smashingly entertaining films from the get go. Yes, she did direct “Point Break”, but hey — I like that film. It's the very definition of a guilty pleasure. And even if the acting isn't all that great and the plot is a bit silly, the film is crisply directed. You keep watching no matter what. So, with this film, Bigelow originally set out to make a western. That was all well and good until she had a difficult time finding funding. From that, a friend recommended that they try to combine her idea with a more commercially proven genre…horror. Thus, we have one of those rare hybrids that always sounds like it should work but very rarely does: the horror-western.

Plot: A young farmhand tries to seduce a beautiful, mysterious girl who happens to be a vampire. The girl ends up drawing blood from him and transforming him into one, and he is forced to join up with her and her traveling “family”: a rogue group of vampires, all from different eras and different ages, who eek out a meager existence by traveling around in stolen cars and killing people for sustenance. Now the boy has to make a choice — is his love for this girl so great that he will abandon his human existence to be with her, or can he really bring himself to commit these terrible sins upon people in order to maintain his own existence?

Really, this is good stuff. I won't lie — the film has some weak points. Some of the writing is not the best. The acting by the two leads (Adrian Pasar and Jenny Wright) leaves some things to be desired. Also, it's a little “on the nose” with its western sensibilities — just wait until the third act of the film with Adrian Pasar's character riding the horse down city streets and you'll see what I mean. But what really makes this film what it is is the vampire family — but with people like Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen and Jeanette Goldstein being in it, I'm sure you can see why.

This film is a really good time, with ample blood and gore for fans of that, as well as some well-staged, gritty action sequences that hang with the best of 'em — thus proving why Kathryn Bigelow is awesome.

Check the trailer:

This is one of those movies I always like reccomending to people because everyone who's watched it seems to enjoy it. So..go. Watch it. Watch Twilight for cool people.

INTERESTING TRIVIA: Kathryn Bigelow is

the ex-wife of director James Cameron.

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Written by Josh

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