Tonight for Fridate Horror (or whatever I’ve been calling it) we watched Near Dark.
This is a film I watched a tonne back in my late teens. Along with The Breakfast Club, it was a staple part of my cultural diet in those latter formative years. I watched it again a few years back and still loved it. Once I learned that my Fridate friend, Seb, had never seen it, it became a natural choice for Friday Horror Night.
I was excited–because I love the film–and also nervous–because who knows whether it would hold up under the lens of Friday Evening Horror Movie Time.
I gotta say it was like getting to see the film for the first time all over again. All the beats and scenes I loved so much were there, but it had been long enough since my last viewing that seeing how they all fitted together was like a new journey. Firstly, the film is gorgeous: I remember loving the way it looked, but I grew up watching it on VHS (and in pan-and-scan, for that matter). It also sounds great: I was worried the Tangerine Dream score would have locked it solidly in the eighties, but it still holds up – and sounds distinct enough from typical horror movie soundtracks that I’m not sure it’ll ever age.
I’ve still never seen a film quite like it: one that combines a strong sense of place as well as genre; that provides almost all of the key elements for a horror movie, but confidently circumvents the cliches; and that complete satisfies you but leave you wanting more. Needless to say I fell in love with it all over again.