Near Dark Movie Review


Near Dark Movie Review

From Joe's Shelf

Near Dark

"A young cowboy falls for a girl who happens to be a member in a group of nomadic vampires."

When this film came out in 1987 close to the same time as the much more popular The Lost Boys, no one (myself included) even noticed its existence. And that is a damn shame. Instead of the trendy cute bloodsuckers that tend to flood the movie market, Near Dark is that dirty/hopeless feeling vampire flick that's more like 30 Days of Night than Twilight. Written and directed by Kathryn Bigelow (Point Break 1991, The Hurt Locker), this is one of those cult classic horror films that I wish I had come across sooner.

Instead, I first saw it after I bought a used copy for two dollars at a Hollywood Video that was shutting down back in 2010. Immediately I noticed how it had actors in it that were James Cameron's Aliens (1986), and I looked up the reason why (you can too!). The tone of Near Dark is always gloomy, and has the look of a modern western. The musical score from Tangerine Dream (Legend 1985), is a score that's so distinctive, that it resonates with you long after hearing it.

The cast is small and centers around Adrian Pasdar's (Heroes) wide-eyed character. He's just a horny kid, but his libido takes him on a learning lesson with harsh consequences. His girlfriend (Jenny Wright, Young Guns II) could be mistaken as a bad actress, yet her odd behavior could also be because of her humanity struggling with her predator self. The rest of her crew has absolutely zero qualms with the random killing of innocent victims.

Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, Jeanette Goldstein (all three from Aliens), and Joshua Miller (The River's Edge), are cold killers that like to play with their food before slaughtering it. They don't say much (and neither does this story), which adds to their overall enigma. My only problem with them, is that I couldn't see spending hundreds of years with such selfish assholes, let alone a week like Pasdar does.

Highs- The bus station shakes, the tension filled tavern massacre, the daylight shootout, and the final flame out.

Lows- No fangs?! And a freaking transfusion?! That's all it takes?

Near Dark stands out as a darker companion to The Lost Boys, and shows that glittery models with  fangs are just romantic marketing bullshit. Take the time to check this one out. "It's finger lickin good!"
Rating- 7.5 out of 10

Near Dark (1987)
R | 1h 34min | Action, Crime, Drama | 2 October 1987 (USA)
A small-town farmer's son reluctantly joins a traveling group of vampires after he is turned by a beautiful drifter.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Writers: Kathryn Bigelow, Eric Red
Stars: Adrian Pasdar, Jenny Wright, Lance Henriksen