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Film Review: We Are the Night (Stylish German Vampire Thriller)

It’s been awhile since I’ve watched a film with subtitles. The last one was the brilliant Swedish horror flick Let the Right One InWir Sind Die Nacht (We Are the Night) is equally enjoyable, but of a much different style and tone.

The movie opens with pictures of Berlin through the ages, and haunting, operatic music, beginning with modern day Berlin and moving backwards in time, to the Fall of the Berlin War, the Second World War and further into the past.  The same women appear in photos throughout these historical eras. One of them can be seen in an oil painting, giving us an idea how old this lady is.  An intriguing voice-over asks: “If you knew that there is only one person in the whole world who is able to make you happy. And he is the right one for you, what would you sacrifice to find him? How many centuries would you spend searching for him? And if you finally found him, would you ever let him go again?…”

Vampire boss Louise (Nina Hoss), her second in command Charlotte (Jennifer Ulrich) and the younger, fun-loving Nora (Anne Fischer) jump from a plane over Berlin having killed the passengers and crew.   The next scene introduces us to the troubled Lena (Karoline Herfurth) who immediately reminded me of Lisbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. She picks the wrong guy to steal from, and ends up being pursued, in a highly enjoyable and exciting chase through the city by a cop, Tom (Max Riemelt – FYI, he’s lovely ladies).  You have to laugh at a cop who sees the funny side of being punched in the face and kicked in the groin by the thief he’s chasing.

Lena has the bad luck to show up in Louise’s vampire nightclub one night.  She reminds Louise of her dead maker and the woman she loved, and Louise wastes no time in making her into a vampire. Max tracks Lena down but she has already been turned and is under the scrutiny of the deranged Louise.  We know this love triangle isn’t going to end well.

We Are The Night is a slick and stylish, lightweight movie.  In this universe, there are no male vampires.  Wondering why? You’ll have to watch the film to find out!  Louise and co spend their time dancing, eating, having sex and driving fast cars.  They live a life of luxury and decadence and feed without remorse, the latter of which Lena struggles with.  The most interesting vampire for me was Charlotte who looks like she stepped out of the 1920s.  We discover she was an actress in the silent film era when Louise took a shine to her and promptly removed her from her human life where she was married and had a child.  Once we learn this, Charlotte’s cold and seemingly detached personality makes a lot more sense.

Tom & Lena
Pic from Film Critic

These vampires are traditional in nature: they cast no reflection, can’t come out during the day and they kill humans.  The film loses its way about halfway through but the action picks up again towards the end.  If you’re looking for high drama and a deep and meaningful story, this film isn’t going to provide that for you.  On the other hand, if you’re after some harmless entertainment with nice acting and a handsome human police officer who’s in love with a vampire (I’ll mention him again, Max Riemelt :)), give this a watch.

I had never heard of any of these great actors before, and We Are the Night made me want to watch more European films.  And of course being the sucker for paranormal romance that I am, I was hoping Lena and Tom would find a way to be together. ****

Check it Out on Amazon HERE