We Are the Night (2010)
By: Rip on September 9, 2013 | Comments
Eagle Entertainment | Region 4, PAL | 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced) | German DD 2.0 | 95 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Director: Dennis Gansel
Starring: Karoline Herfurth, Nina Hoss, Jennifer Ulrich, Anna Fischer
Screenplay: Jan Berger, Dennis Gansel
Country: Germany
Eighteen year-old Berlin street urchin Lena (Karoline Herfurth) is on probation for a number of crimes, one of which includes pickpocketing, an art she hasn't quite yet perfected. Even so, she makes just enough from this dubious 'job' to keep herself fed and clothed. Lena has the appearance of one battered and bruised by life, but it's plain to see that underneath, there's a sweet and attractive young woman trying to break out, something that doesn't go un-noticed by vice detective Tom Serner after a random bridge-side encounter. Meanwhile, sexy vampire Louise (Nina Hoss) and her fellow immortals, Charlotte (Jennifer Ulrich), a former silent movie star, and Nora (Anna Fischer), a rambunctious 80's valley-type-girl, have just arrived in Berlin after attacking the passengers of the airplane that brought them there. When Lena inadvertently wanders in to an underground nightclub that the fanged females have taken over, she is immediately spotted by Louise and it is then that Lena becomes the object of Louise's insatiable desire...

We Are The Night is a German import and is as silly as a two-bob watch. It's also a hell of a lot of fun. Kind of like an anti-Twilight crossed with The Lost Boys and fused with Sex And The City, the film is stylish, pacy and very well acted by all concerned, something which kind of surprised me. It's as dopey as all get-out, but knows it, with tongue very obviously planted in cheek. Yes, it's another vampire film where a seemingly lost soul is given the power and freedom she's always desired, only to discover that the positives aren't worth the price to her humanity. And yes, we've seen this all before, but the performances are so good, the direction by helmer/co-writer Dennis Gansel so strong and the film itself so much fun, that it really doesn't matter. You are pulled along for the ride regardless. The film begins with a bang that takes place 10,000-feet up in the air and never lets up until the end credits roll. The actors really sell this one, especially Herfurth, Hoss and Ulrich, and Gansel directs this familiar material with an off-centre style that's a little outside of the norm.

On the downside, for all the fun that Gansel and fellow writer Jan Berger have playing with vampire conventions, there are admittedly not a lot places for this yarn to go. You'll have a fairly good idea of where it's all heading, so there is little surprise to the outcome, even if the finale is admittedly energetic and enthusiastically played. It's just that there is a familiarity to it that detracts from the otherwise visceral kick it provides, as well as the almost token set-up for a sequel that I doubt we'll ever see. But, as previously noted, you'll be having such a ball with We Are The Night that you simply won't give a damn.
The Disc
Eagle Entertainment's R4 release of We Are The Night is presented in a 16x9 enhanced transfer, but the film's original 2.35:1 aspect ratio has been cropped to 1.78:1 for this SD-DVD. This is becoming an all too frequent practice with Australian DVD's and I am at pains to understand why. Are we paying for HD transfers done for television broadcast? Who knows...? But it simply isn't good enough. That said, the frame doesn't really appear cramped, but I'm certain it would look a whole lot better opened up to its original aspect ratio. As for the print itself, it's clean and the transfer devoid of any serious digital nasties. This is one flick that would come up great on Blu-ray, but alas, we here in Oz get an SD version only. You'll have to look to Germany for a BD.

Audio-wise, we're offered a German Dolby Digital 2.0 channel surround track with optional English subtitles, as well as an English dub. No prizes for guessing which of the two is better. This a film that would greatly benefit from a 5.1 track, but the 2-channel surround track here is a pretty good one, with plenty of panning and directional effects coming through nicely, and the subwoofer gets a decent look in. This film features a pretty rocking soundtrack too and that comes up well here.

And as for extras... only the film's trailer, I'm afraid. Oh well, I guess we can be grateful that we got this little gem released here at all.
The Verdict
Though this R4 DVD comes with a compromised aspect ratio, We Are The Night is a seriously entertaining spin on the vampire genre, and the film's performances and overall quality were quite a surprise to this reviewer. Give it a go.
Movie Score
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Overall Score
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