The poster over there doesn’t do this film justice. It’s made out to look like SEX IN THE CITY except Sarah Jessica Parker’s pointy nose is substituted by pointy teeth instead. But this film from Germany is so much more than that. Yes, this film features four women lapping up life’s finer things, just like Parker and her coven, but these females lap up blood as well. WE ARE THE NIGHT (WIR SIND DIE NACHT) turns out to be a pretty thrilling bloodsucker film with some twists on vampirism that I haven’t seen before. Though not entirely original (the film borrows heavily from both TWILIGHT and THE LOST BOYS) it also has enough original scenes to make it worth a look see.
The film starts out with some haunting music (actually the entire soundtrack is fantastic) as a choir sings over what looks to be the aftermath of a massacre on a still-flying airplane. Three elegant female vamps—sultry leader Louise (Nina Hoss), vintage emo Charlotte (Jennifer Ulrich), and bubbly punk Nora (Anna Fischer) make their way through blood-empty bodies and dive out the emergency hatch before the plane crashes. Cut to Lena, a street punk pickpocket: her life is shit, her mom is fucking her juvie rep, and she lives in squalor. When Lena happens into a rave, she gains the attention of Louise and ends up bitten. When she wakes up and feels her skin burning in the sunlight, she realizes something is definitely wrong. Louise and the girls try to show Lena the ropes of living la vida loca—vampire stylee.
It’s the little details that make this film stand out. When Lena is bitten by Louise, it’s done in a mirror, so you can’t see the vampiress bite her, just the tooth marks going in. Other little aspects such as the extravagant lifestyle and the recklessness of the four vampires work well. Director Dennis Gansel tries to get a bit deep by saying that there aren’t very many vamps in the world and even less men because, according to Louise, all they want to do is fight and lord over women. This is a nice message, but since the four ladies only seem to spend their time spending the money of their victims and partying the night away at raves, it doesn’t make the fairer sex seem like they are anything more than shallow snits with not a care for anything but shoes, clothes, cars, and the next party. Making a statement that they’ve killed off the male vampires is a powerful one, but the follow-up seems to be a missed opportunity, since the deepest motivator of Louise is to find love (a love she thinks she’s found in Lena). Had Louise been a politician or some kind of influential figure, it would have driven the point home that the fairer sex is just that. But then we wouldn’t get montages of the ladies trying on clothes, racing cars, and partying the night away while downing shots of blood.
I don’t want to be too hard on this film. Like I said, there are a lot of great scary and inventive moments of vampirism throughout. I watched this film with someone familiar with TWILIGHT and though I wouldn’t have caught it because of my unfamiliarity with the films, she noticed that there are some direct swipes from the TWILIGHT films and books. That said, I found WE ARE THE NIGHT to be an elegant, yet a bit vacant and vapid, vampire flick with an explosive climax that really delivers as Lena and Louise have it out in a gravity defying melee of blood and violence. Not shy with the gore and scares, WE ARE THE NIGHT is better than most defanged vamp flicks that have been released lately and director Dennis Gansel has an eye for making scenes beautiful and horrific all at once.