Near Dark - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Near Dark Reviews

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October 12, 2016
Truly a great vampire movie great cast, great script and brilliant director
October 1, 2016
Really, Bill Paxton is the best part of this film (He's at his absolutely whacked out of his mind best here). The bar massacre and the motel shootout make this one worth a watch (Maybe 2 of the best scenes in film imo), but that doesnt detract from the fact that this film doesn't understand how Vampirism works. The first hour or so is pretty fun, but the film completely shits the bed during the last 30 minutes. It veers more-so towards romance, than all-out bat-shit crazy western (which it does have some aspects of). I had high hopes, and for a good while this was going to make it into my favorite horror films list....unfortunately, Bigelow chooses to discard the rules of Vampirism in favor of a lame ending. Very disappointing.
½ September 23, 2016
A vampire western, Near Dark something new for vampires alike
September 18, 2016
great vampire movie with a great cast
September 15, 2016
With the noticeable popularity of movies about teenage vampire romances, I'm surprised this underrated gothic gem from the late 80s hasn't resurfaced.
½ August 31, 2016
This movie is visually engaging and does some interesting things with how to become human again. I found watching Caleb stagger around for the first 20 minutes tedious and the choreography of the Caleb's sister getting out of certain situations seemed like they could have been done better. Bill Paxton was the best part of this movie, along with the bar scene.
½ July 31, 2016
Mindscarringly realistic vampires
May 8, 2016
Won't scare the pants off you, but is definitely a different spin on the vampire tale, perhaps a bit ahead of its time. Good film with a young Bill Paxton in a supporting role made during a time when vampire flicks were somewhat cheesy.
May 1, 2016
Violent film with a good cast. A group of vampire drifters kill as they go. Never really cared much for vampire films and this one falls in that camp. Of note, features three members of the Aliens cast on the spaceship USS Sulaco. John Parr's "Naughty Naughty" also made the soundtrack here. Good but forgotten hit from the 1980's.
April 11, 2016
A truly hilarious 80's horror film. Acting, special effects and nearly everything else screams the 80's. It's pretty enjoyable in how cheesy it is.
April 6, 2016
A massively underrated, almost forgotten, horror classic that ought to rule the genre, but instead somehow fell by the wayside.
½ February 8, 2016
Here is a film thats full of 80s atmosphere, set to a pretty good score by Tangerine Dream, that strives to be Mad Max meets The Lost Boys. Pretty much pulls it off.
½ January 22, 2016
This is NOT a western!
January 18, 2016
Though released the same year as the more commercial 'The Lost Boys,' Kathryn Bigelow managed to deliver the superior vampire movie in 1987. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this film is that Bigelow and her co-writer elected to junk virtually the entire trove of vampire mythology. These vampires drink blood for sustenance, whereby they gain overpowering physical strength, and they must avoid sunlight exposure, lest they be incinerated, of course. But, that is where the familiar elements end -- there are NO crucifixes, glowing eyes, shape-shifting turns into various beasts, holy water dousings, oversized fangs, coffin nap-times, etc. If they were not chomping on necks and withstanding gun-shots to the torso, these characters could easily be mistaken for ordinary humans, making it all the easier for them to blend into the night-life. They also appear looking for any manner of mayhem that will stave off the boredom one who is among the living dead might experience. They kill because it is necessary to their survival, but at the same time they delight in causing destruction. Bill Paxton gives a stand-out performance as a deranged vampire who enjoys provoking his victims into fits of anger before dispatching with them in violent fashion. The scene inside the bar allows him the opportunity to evidence the danger this group poses to anyone who has the misfortune to cross them. The gritty, minimalist look works well, although I thought the ending was a bit too convenient. I am certain Bigelow would have filmed a different kind of ending had a larger budget been available to her. Still, I cannot help but believe scenes in this movie provided a visual reference for directors such as John Carpenter (Vampires) and Robert Rodriguez (From Dusk 'Til Dawn) later working in the same genre.
Super Reviewer
½ January 7, 2016
I've been wanting to see this movie for a while and, finally, I got the chance to do so on Amazon Prime, through an add-on subscription for Starz. I think this might be, I wouldn't actually know, one of the first movies (along with Lost Boys, released two months before this one) to completely change the perception of vampires in films. Usually, for example Dracula, was, as described in the description for this film on this site, an elegant aristocrat. These vampires are a little more grimy and dirty, they behave like a gang more than anything else. Again, I have no idea if this was the first movie to take this approach, but it was definitely ahead of its time in trying to change the perception of what the vampire mythology could be like if approached from outside the box. It's also impressive to see how this film balances a variety of different genres. It's a western, a family drama, a darkly comedic, a romance and, obviously, a horror movie all in one. The romance, to me, is definitely the weakest of all these genres. It's just that, to me, Adrian Pasdar and Jenny Wright don't have that much chemistry with each other honestly. Like there was nothing that I saw between them that led me to believe that they were madly in love with each other. It doesn't help that Jenny Wright wasn't particularly good here. She was definitely inconsistent. Not what I would call good, but there were some scenes where she was fine and others where her delivery was just dreadful and she would just have this look like she was stoned or just about to fall asleep. The problem is that the movie, for the most part, deals with Caleb finding a way to fit into this gang of vampires after he's bitten by Mae and not so much on his actual relationship with her, so that hurts the movie's romantic elements. The rest of the film, however, is really damn good. The cast, with the exception of Jenny Wright, is real strong filled with talented character actors/actresses as Lance Henriksen, Jenette Goldstein and Bill Paxton. Bill Paxton, to me, has never been great, there's something wooden about him, but I think he plays his role really well here. There's not as much blood and gore in this movie as one would expect, but what's there is really good and the make-up effects for the burns the vampires suffer, particularly Severen, during the climax, are excellent. I really like this movie honestly. I just like how it's paced and how it's put together. I did have some issues like how a simple blood transfusion from his father was able to cure Caleb of his vampire curse. It was too easy of a solution for this. And then Caleb does the transfusion for Mae and she is somehow cured. It's not quite a deus ex machina, but it does feel like it comes out of nowhere with no reasonable explanation given. Even with that, I still really enjoyed this movie and I think it holds up really well in the, almost, 30 years since its release. It might not be great, it definitely has some flaws, but it's a really damn good movie that I would definitely recommend.
½ November 11, 2015
Suspenseful and dramatic. Great use of western tropes made for a much better cinematic experience than the traditional vampire flick. A bit dated, but executed with a reverence and timelessness that makes it a fun watch still today.
November 6, 2015
I can't believe I missed this film when it cam out. It's one of the greatest vampire movies of all time. It's badass, tender, and full of atmosphere. Bigelow is a master, and clearly developed her muscular directing chops very early in her career. A must see!
October 5, 2015
A lot to like. Beautifully shot, ambient synth soundtrack and desolate locations ranging from deserts to industrial urban landscapes. Plus Bill Paxton. Definitely one of the more interesting vampire flicks.
September 12, 2015
I was expecting better as this appears on a lot of lists of cult horror films. I'm not sure why it has a cult following really, it's not a special film, and quite forgettable. Having said that, for a vampire film, it does seem to maintain a low key atmosphere, which is a bit different from most.
½ September 10, 2015
I just watched this movie for the first time. IT has really stood the test of time. You can see a lot of modern day movies and TV especially True Blood, was inspired by this film and its characters. It is a really great film, beautifully shot, great score which is perfectly timed throughout the film and pretty great acting overall.
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