The Vampire Movie Rebels (a Little) in We Are the Night


Lightweight and accordingly fast-moving, this vampire romp from Germany hews closer to the debauched sophistication of The Hunger than the pubescent antics of Twilight and its ilk. Still, We Are the Night recycles the romantic setup from that series, albeit gender-reversed and with a sapphic twist, so for a while it works as a slightly more inclusive version. Night follows the transformation of Berlin street punk Lena (Karoline Herfurth) from petty thief to pampered bloodsucker under the besotted tutelage of Louise (Nina Hoss), leader of a female vampire trio (Anna Fischer and Jennifer Ulrich play the other pair) with a taste for luxury. Unfortunately for the (much) older woman, Lena lusts after a hunky detective (Max Riemelt) hot on the gang’s trail, and the situation unravels appropriately. Director/co-writer Dennis Gansel compensates for the story’s lack of emotional heft with rousing chase scenes and impressive, near-poetic CGI set pieces, and works in a sly suggestion that vampirism is the ultimate expression of consumerist indulgence. But if this critique nudges the genre away from its hidebound Judeo-Christian roots, We Are the Night’s alignment of female power with shopping—and the climactic triumph of hetero sex—all but drives a stake through its rebellious little heart.