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A lone female vampire stalks the nocturnal streets of a decaying ghost town, searching for prey. One of the town’s residents is Arash, who through a series of events involving his junkie father, a prostitute and a drug-dealing pimp, encounters the enigmatic bloodsucker and an unlikely love story begins to unfold.
Although set in the fictional Iranian town of Bad City, Ana Lily Amirpour’s arresting debut was shot in California, the story adapted from its previous incarnations as a graphic novel and short film. With its stark black and white photography, Jarmusch-esque deadpan humour and memorable images of a hijab-clad bloodsucker skateboarding the streets, Amirpour’s film is a superbly ambitious exercise in style and atmosphere. If you only see one Iranian vampire western this year, make sure it’s this one.
Horror 1974 83 mins Director: Tobe Hooper
Unrivalled in its relentless vision of pure terror, Tobe Hooper’s horror masterpiece remains as brutal and horrific as it ever was.
Horror 1976 91 mins Director: David Cronenberg
David Cronenberg’s classic outbreak horror introduces us to a young woman (Marilyn Chambers) who hungers for human blood after an experimental plastic surgery goes wrong.
Horror 2009 104 mins Director: Lars von Trier
After tragedy strikes, a couple retreat to a cabin in the woods in order to grieve. However, they find things go from bad to worse, in this brutal interrogation of nature from Lars von Trier.
Horror 1979 107 mins Director: Werner Herzog
English language version of Herzog’s stimulating take on the Dracula story starring Klaus Kinski, with echoes of Murnau’s 1922 Nosferatu.
Comedy 2014 86 mins Director: Taika Waititi
An achingly funny mockumentary about New Zealand’s hitherto unknown vampire (and werewolf) communities, from the creators of Flight of the Conchords.
Drama 2016 106 mins Director: Olivier Assayas
Kristen Stewart reunites with Olivier Assayas to play an A-List celebrity's personal shopper, who keeps receiving strange text messages from an unknown source.
BFI London Film Festival
Melodrama 2014 108 mins Director: François Ozon
Ruth Rendell provides the source novel for this delicious tale of deception and identity, from the master of mischievous melodrama, François Ozon.
Drama 2017 121 mins Director: Valeska Grisebach
Masculine tensions reaching boiling point in this sizzling, brilliantly observed neo-western, where migrant German construction workers are pitched against villagers in remotest Bulgaria.
Drama 2019 120 mins Director: Nora Fingscheidt
An intensive drama about a pre-pubescent girl who actually crashes Germany’s child and welfare system whilst on her quest for love and security.
Drama 2020 99 mins Director: Fernanda Valadez
This compelling first feature finds a mother embarking on an Odyssey-like search for her missing son across a border terrain where law and order has effectively broken down.
Comedy 2019 87 mins Director: Sasie Sealy
A crafty Coen-esque black comedy about an elderly widow who inadvertently steals from the Chinese mob and subsequently takes on the gangs to secure her fortune.
Drama 2010 103 mins Director: Kelly Reichardt
Kelly Reichardt's absorbing and beautifully composed western, set on the Oregon trail in the 1840s.
Drama-documentary 2020 99 mins Director: Bill Ross
There goes the neighbourhood! It’s the last night ever at the Roaring 20’s cocktail lounge, and all’s fair in boozy truths and wavy fictions.
Drama 1931 89 mins Director: Leontine Sagan
Leontine Sagan’s pioneering and internationally acclaimed lesbian love story.
Comedy 1976 94 mins Director: Werner Herzog
An 18th-century Bavarian community falls apart when the local glassmaker dies, in Werner Herzog's mesmerising drama for which he famously directed his actors under hypnosis.
Drama 2017 98 mins Director: Carla Simón
An outstanding debut feature charting the emotional journey of a six-year old girl in the aftermath of her mother’s death in early 1990s Spain.
Documentary 1987 121 mins Director: Kazuo Hara
Kazuo Hara’s infamous and audacious documentary follows Kenzo Okuzaki, an ageing Japanese WWII veteran on a mission to uncover the truth about atrocities committed during the war in the Pacific.
Crime 1995 115 mins Director: Robert Altman
Robert Altman revisits the 1930s city of his childhood, vividly recreating its jazz clubs, speakeasies, political corruption and lively crime scene.