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MOVE OVER 'LOST BOYS' FOR 'NEAR DARK' WITH JENNY WRIGHT

Jenny Wright in NEAR DARK Year: 1987
Steamy vampire flick with terrific moments and memorable characters, including Jenny Wright as a shyly sensuous vamp who seduces farm boy Adrian Pasdar into her clutches. In NEAR DARK she bites him and, not yet transformed, he joins the family: a gang of rogue RV-riding bloodsuckers including Lance Henriksen as the brooding leader and hopped-up scene-stealer Bill Paxton as a bad boy brawler.

The vibe throughout is spooky and intense, the starkly rural daytime setting giving a Spaghetti Western feel while the shadowy night shots channel Film Noir. But the camarawork, although making good use of light and shade, keeps too close on the actors, feeling more like a Gothic photo album than a suspensful motion picture.

Jenny Wright and Lance Henriksen RATES: ***1/2
Some of the music, seeming placed throughout to fill a soundtrack album, hinders what should have been more timeless otherwise...

But an ultra-violent scene within a red neck bar, and a finale on a desolate street straight out of a demonic HIGH NOON, makes this a uniquely bloody ride. And although not as conventionally entertaining, there's a murkier depth than its successful competitor, THE LOST BOYS.

And while Pasdar is a dependable – though somewhat wooden – lead protagonist, the best moments concern Paxton’s daredevil lunacy or Jenny Wright’s docile-doomed expressions as each inevitable dawn draws in: Perhaps NEAR LIGHT would have been a more fitting title, as these vamps are continuously playing time with loaded dice.
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