'Near Dark' Review: We Keep Odd Hours
Bill Paxton and Lance Henriksen are two unsung heroes of the 80s. From Aliens to The Terminator and the always enjoyable but really dumb Pumpkinhead, these two spanned the gamut of genres in the 80s. Near Dark is great because their in it, but it is totally underrated in the lexicon of vampire films. That's too bad since its a cowboy vampire movie that is stylistically slick and cleverly written.
Paxton and Henriksen play the Severen and Jesse Hooker, two vampires in a gang that travel the West causing trouble and feasting on unsuspecting humans. They show that being vampires gets boring since you live forever and have shit to do at night time. Being a vampire in this universe isn't about sparkling in the sun and eating deer; they fuck shit up on a nightly basis. The bar scene is the most memorable scene in the film, building suspense but also humor as it goes on. It's both funny and terrifying at the same time.
Most of the other actors in the film aren't noteworthy. The main character played by Adrian Pasdar is one dimensional and he drags the film down whenever he is on screen. The other vampires in the gang aren't anything special, but they do have some memorable lines that make me wish they had more to do in the film. Kathryn Bigelow, yes the one who won an Oscar for The Hurt Locker, has a very strong directing style that helps cover up many of the film's problems if only a little.
Near Dark is underrated as hell. It's a great vampire film that does something interesting with a genre that has been totally played out. Vampires aren't cool anymore after being sissified by the likes of Twilight but Near Dark is a step in the right direction. If more screenwriters looked to genre-bending films like Near Dark for vampire inspiration and less to Twilight there might be a new future for vampire films.
Final Say: Watch It
Who Said What?
Severen: "Well, I'll be goddamned. Shit-kicker heaven."