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Marina Antunes [Celluloid 05.25.11] Germany review news drama vampires



Year: 2010
Director: Dennis Gansel
Writers: Dennis Gansel, Jan Berger
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: Marina Antunes
Rating: 6.5 out of 10

The concept for We are the Night (Wir sind die Nacht), a film we've been referring to since the first teaser as a "vampire vixen drama," is pretty great: a group of female vampires wreaking havoc through a metropolis, in this case Berlin. Throw in the fact that the film is directed and co-written by Dennis Gansel, a director who impressed me with his ability to freshen up and make interesting a tired trope with The Wave, and it looked like he was onto something great with We are the Night.

Gansel builds an interesting world where vampire women have taken it upon themselves to eradicate the males of the species for being too loud and uncontrollable and vowing never to create another. "No boyfriends, no husbands." That seems to be the only rule guiding Louise and her small coven made up of the reckless Nora and the pensive ex-silent movie star Charlotte. The trio land in Berlin in style with an opening sequence that will not soon be forgotten, and quickly launch into their life of opulence and luxury. By contrast, Lena is a troubled teen always on the lookout for an adrenaline rush but when she makes her way to a party being thrown by the coven and catches Louise's eye, she gets much more than she bargained for.


Soon after her first encounter with Louise, Lena is turned; an ugly affair that brings a whole lot of suffering before she accepts her new life of money and adventure. Louise gives her everything she wants but when Lena falls for a police officer on the hunt for the people responsible for an ugly fire, she breaks the single rule and pits the entire group against her in a chase that ends in memorable fashion. And here lies both the good and bad of We are the Night: from scene to scene it's a fantastic looking film with gorgeous sequences and effects but it seems that those are achieved at the cost of character development and motivation. The script and story are sound but there's little explanation for why the women are the way they are, where they came from or where they're going. The only character that has any sort of story is Charlotte but from the get go, she's the most interesting of the original trio, always somewhat removed from the action unfolding around her.

And so Gansel's film traverses from one memorable scene to the next in a flurry of well executed and stylish visuals accompanied by heart pounding music but never delivering anything beyond good looks. But they are spectacularly gorgeous good looks. From Lena’s transformation to the occasional fiery death (I was particularly taken with a scene of Lena running away from the group along a deserted road just before sunrise) each one is better than the last but is a string of great looking scenes enough to sell a movie? Depends on what you're looking for. I was hoping for something a little more substantial (which Gansel does occasionally hint at) but We are the Night essentially squanders away an excellent nuanced performance from Karoline Herfurth for bright lights and pretty sets.

I was disappointed by We are the Night but that doesn't mean that the movie is a dud. Gansel's film misses the mark on deep thought or provoking any meaningful discussion on eternal life but it delivers high energy entertainment.

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John (8 years ago) Reply

Not that it is nice that people reach the same conclusion, but in this case it is ratinally the only one to.
As I've said earlier here ( Only flaw I'd have to say was a plot, and at that a bit, nothing that bothers, just being predictable), un/fortunately you are in agreement too.
There were however many spoilers in your review which could have been avoided, but alas, one has to see the visuals really, plot is just there to support it.
While the script leaves something to be desired, the book does not, so if one is interested to find out more, he can, in German of course, by author Wolfgang Hohlbein.
I will however point out the nuance you might have missed when you said:"The script and story are sound but there's little explanation for why the women are the way they are, where they came from or where they're going. The only character that has any sort of story is Charlotte but from the get go, she's the most interesting of the original trio, always somewhat removed from the action unfolding around her".
The explanation is Louise, who is a Lestat de Lioncourt in this movie, and who as we know is looking for companionship, as eterity is rather boring spent alone.
Nora and Charlotte are there for Louise's ( her being the oldest one experiments so to say for a perfect companion, one Louise was to her older master, which "died" as she says.
Where now Lena, for GOD knows what reason comes into picture ( how she threw Louise to the wall in the bathroom is beyond me ).
Charlotte however is a perfect example of how Selene was made by victor, so the comparison is right there.
I was not disappointed at all, rather 95% satisfied how it turned out, except for the ending, but it was thrilling, entertaining, and visually stimulating, which was good enough for me.
On other points you eloquently made, we are in full and rare if I might add, agreement.

Best Regards,

John

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JustSomeMan (8 years ago) Reply

Well, I do respect your opinions-
but I'll say again that I think that this movie was shit.

Most of the cinematography was a mess. And in addition to that, the soundtrack was 50 percent stolen from The Dark Knight.
The end-scene doesn't give us anything own. We have seen the Blade Movies and several other (vampire) films that do everything better.

Maybe I am less forgiving because this is one of the biggest german productions in a long time and it is redundant and a waste, and I am german. With its money, a lot of other great films could have been produced. (Again, take a look at Snowman's Land!)

I could go on and on about german movies...

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John Bowditch (8 years ago) Reply

Anybody no the name of the song at the end of the trailer?

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Marina (8 years ago) Reply

@John Bowditch - It's VAST's "Pretty When You Cry"

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DNTME (8 years ago) Reply

Queen of the Damned anyone? Same old tired plot. The men of the world must be eliminated because they are so bad ... blah, blah, blah. Nothing new here folks, move along. Want to make something different? How about the reverse? Someone makes an artificial womb (ala "Brave New World") and some group decides to eliminate all females. Heck it could even be a large group of female vampires again, figuring they would be in great demand thereafter. But then that would not have enough of the mass slaughter of men by women to satisfy all the idiot fan boys.

This is just the same old stuff, "prettiness" notwithstanding. Something for the drooling boys and raving feminists to get off over.

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DNTME (8 years ago) Reply

Oh yes, I forgot to mention. Apparently Germany has NO female cops or guards at their police detention facilities to assist with female prisoners, like in searches. But that's typical of these movies as well. Especially when pointless mass slaughter is involved.


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