Near Dark achieves a new look in vampire films. High-powered but pared down, slick but spare, this is a tale that introduces the unearthly into the banality of rural American existence.
Nervous, edgy opening has sharp young cowboy Adrian Pasdar hooking up with Jenny Wright, a good-looking new girl in town not averse to some nocturnal roistering as long as she gets home by dawn.
Wright soon welcomes Pasdar into her ‘family’, a bunch of real low-down boys and girls that would have done Charles Manson proud. Led by the spidery Lance Henriksen, the gang hibernates by day, but at night scours the vacant landscapes in search of prey.
Script by Kathryn Bigelow and Eric Red is cool and laconic, and the evildoers essentially come off as some very nasty bikers who kill for sport as well as necessity.
Main point of interest will be the work of Bigelow, who has undoubtedly created the most hard-edged, violent actioner ever directed by an American woman.