Writer: Kathryn Bigelow, Eric Red (Screenplay)
Starring: Adrian Pasdar, Jenny Wright, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, Jenette Goldstein, Tim Thomerson
Plot: A small-town farmer’s son reluctantly joins a traveling group of vampires after he is turned by a beautiful drifter.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Underrated Vampire Film
Story: Near Dark starts as young country man Caleb (Pasdar) meets a beautiful woman Mae (Wright) one night and after spending the night seeing different locations Mae leaves Caleb with a strong hicky.
What Caleb discovers is that Mae is in fact a vampire and she has turned him into on too, joining her group of vampires including Jesse (Henriksen), Severen (Paxton), Diamondback (Goldstein) and Homer (Miller) he finds himself drawn into a world of crime while his family worry about him.
As the group travels around America at night Caleb needs to prove his worth to the group and learn to kill but when he doesn’t he must fight to survive against the vampire while learning the cure for this new disease.
Thoughts on Near Dark
Characters/Performance – Caleb is just an everyday small town American young man who spends his nights looking to meet women and this time he meets a woman that will change his life, one that will turn him into a vampire as he must learn to adjust to this new life. Mae is the woman that attracts Caleb who does want out of this life or at least have someone else by her side. Jesse controls the group keeping them all in order not wanting to carry any dead weight. Severen is the character you will remember most because he is over the top and enjoys the kills.
Performance wise, Adrian Pasdar is fine but you can see he isn’t going to make it as a charismatic leading actor, Jenny Wright is also fine but doesn’t pull us into the whole stunning beautiful leading lay, with Lance Henriksen doing what you all know he can, be a good villain. Bill Paxton is the star of the show as we do remember nearly everything he does through the film.
Story – The story follows one man as he is turned into a vampire as he needs to learn to kill to survive while on the run with a villainous group of vampires. This takes a new approach the vampire genre showing the family feel to a group, a new look at the transformation and even introducing the idea of a full cure. I like this and believe it is fresh feeling to the vampire genre.
Action/Crime/Horror – The action is very simple and what we have come to expect, with the crime side of the story being how the vampires hunt feels very criminal in style with the horror being with what happens to the vampires meet sunlight.
Settings – The settings make this feel like a western in places as the group travel from town to town hunting.
Final Thoughts – This may well not be the first film that comes to mind when you think vampires but when you look at the greats this doesn’t come too far off being on their level.
Overall: Enjoyable, gritty and dark vampire thriller.