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Film / We Are the Night

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"If you don't want to be like everyone else, you've got two choices: You either get crushed in their world - or you build your own."

Lena is a twenty-something girl who lives together with her mother in Berlin and tries to live off what little they have - and of what she can steal. All of a sudden, she attracts the attention of two very different parties: the Berlin police, especially the curious policeman Tom, for a particularly cheeky theft and a band of three vampiresses who discover her in an underground club. The eldest of the vampires, Louise, falls in love with Lena and bites her to make her a new companion.

While Lena is scared at first, the other vampires, Louise and her younger companions - Charlotte and Nora - quickly introduce her to the positive aspects of her new "life": supernatural powers, enhanced attractiveness, endless parties and every luxury she can dream of. But while Louise does her best to make Lena love the experience as a vampire, both Charlotte and Nora let on hints to the darker sides of it. And it all goes downhill when Tom and Lena take a liking to each other - and Louise, who waited centuries to find her perfect partner, is not amused about a mortal man standing in her way.


We Are the Night is a German live action movie from the year 2010, and was released in US theaters in May 2011. Although the first version of the script was already finished in 1999, it was necessary for other vampire movies like Twilight to become popular for the author to be granted the necessary sponsoring to produce it. The author/director is the same guy who is responsible for The Wave, Dennis Gansel. The movie was received as a pleasant change from the freshly risen Twilight routine by the German audience, so the producers decided to release it in other countries as well. Up until now it has been released in France, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and the US.


This film provides examples of:

  • Aerith and Bob: If you're British, Louise and Charlotte are popular contemporary names, but Nora is a comedy name for old ladies.
  • Ambiguous Ending: We don't really know what became of Lena and Tom.
  • Anti-Villain: Louise, Charlotte and Nora all count, since they show no remorse for killing most of their human victims and even a lot of other vampires, but Louise takes the cake: after her beloved Sire died (likely commiting suicide), she had to live an entire century alone, desperately looking for a companion. No wonder she snaps when Tom "takes" Lena away from her.
  • Badass Bookworm: Charlotte is constantly seen reading books and has a taste for taking her victims' firearms and using them against them.
  • Black Comedy: There is a running gag about Louise being really annoyed whenever Nora kills somebody without thinking about the consequences.
  • Blessed with Suck: The vampires. Despite their wealth and ability to enjoy food, sex and drugs, Nora is the only one who seems to really enjoy being a vampire, but she is worried about killing any boy she might get close too (which she does) in a really extreme version of the Hedgehog's dilemma, Charlotte has sunken into a depression because she misses her daughter, having missed her entire life, Louise realised long ago that all her wealth and luxury is pointless without any one to share it with and Lena is horrified by having to kill humans in order to survive.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Possibly one of the greatest Celebrity Paradoxes of all time occurs in this film; on the airplane in the first scene a television is showing The Wave directed by Dennis Gansel. No less than three of the actors from The Wave star in We Are The Night and two of them play leads. It gets weirder considering that one of the actresses from The Wave (Jennifer Ulrich) is in the same room as the television showing the film and another actress from The Wave (Christina DeRega) is in the toilet next to the room. The weirdness goes to extreme level if you see a deleted scene featuring Dennis Gansel as a police officer, considering he both directed and starred in The Wave.
  • Color Motif: The film uses yellow, blue and red heavily. This is partly because these are primary colors and the two former would work well aesthetically with the color of blood. More importantly, the day scenes and the tragic scenes uses dull yellow light. The night scenes (especially in the first half) are much more colorful than any of the day scenes, pointing the colorlessness of Lena's life and the glamour of the vampires.
  • Cute and Psycho: Nora. She acts very sweet and cheerful, but also happens to love her blood rushes. Deconstructed a little when she actually behaves rude towards someone and later explains to Lena that she does it to protect him from her bloodlust. It doesn't work.
  • Credits Gag: The earless mobster is named "van Gogh" in the credits.
  • Disappeared Dad: Lena lives with her mother, with no appearance or mention of her father.
  • Discretion Shot: Although the vampiresses love themselves a little gorefest or two every now and then one will rarely see anything worse than flowing blood. The same goes for sex, which is implied but never shown.
  • Eye Scream: Charlotte puts out her cigarette with her eye, just to freak out a restaurant patron. In her defense, the eye heals instantly.
  • Fang Thpeak: Originally the vampire teeth worn by the actresses caused this, but the make-up designers invented a new model that averted this and worked so well that the actresses sometimes forgot that they wore them.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: Both played straight with Lena and subverted with Nora. While Nora always appears friendly and happy, she also enjoys killing mortals for blood. Lena on the other hand doesn't want to kill people and is having a real problem with drinking blood from anything that isn't a traditional drinking vessel.
  • Gendercide: Louise tells Lena that all male vampires were wiped out by the females in the past because they were too reckless, and risked the vampire race being hunted down by humanity through exposure.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: Many different shades. Lena will steal money, but doesn't want to kill people, which can be an example of Even Evil Has Standards. Her initial struggle with Tom is White-and-Grey Morality. The vampires take on brutal Russian pimps and rapists, an example of Black-and-Gray Morality. Of course, they also kill completely innocent people, which can be White-and-Grey Morality or straight Black-and-White Morality, depending on your view. Charlotte's killing of the guard especially comes off as really pointless. At one point Louise shows remorse for killing innocent people, but only because she promised Lena she wouldn't. If all four vampires are grey, Lena is certainly a lighter shade. Between all of this, plus the various moments of Pet the Dog, it's hard to say exactly how good or evil any of these characters are.
  • Groin Attack: Tom gets a hard kick in the nards from Lena.
  • I Hate You, Vampire Dad: Charlotte to Louise, but it's implied that they grew apart after a long process. And later in the movie, even Lena evolves to this.
  • I Love You, Vampire Son: Louise turned both Charlotte and Lena because she fell in love with them. While she accepts Charlotte's resistance after a while, she doesn't want to let go of Lena's heart. And she reacts rather sensitively to losing Charlotte, too. It becomes creepier when you realize thanks to the director that Louise turned Nora not only because of her looks, but so that she and Charlotte could have a "child" together, and Charlotte could have a sort of replacement for her real daughter. Charlotte and Nora share a passionate kiss, and Charlotte strokes Nora's hair at one point.
  • In Da Club: The "Nightlife"-sequence.
  • Inside Job: Due to his connection with Lena, Tom is suspected of being a Dirty Cop involved with the prime suspects by Lummer and Internal Affairs and is arrested along with Lena.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • The entrance scene shows the vampiresses in a plane full of corpses, probably mostly innocent people. It doesn't seem to bother them at all.
    • Later in the movie, Nora invokes a Kick the Dog moment right in front of Lena's eyes when the women lure two watchmen towards them and kill them although such harsh means were not necessarily justified. Needless to say, Lena doesn't take it very well.
  • Kubrick Stare: Both Lena and Louise provides these
  • Lesbian Vampire: Louise definitely is, and Nora and Charlotte's kiss could point to them being bisexual (note Charlotte stroking Nora's hair and her reaction to Nora's death). The director says that Charlotte is open to sexual relations with both men and women and that Charlotte actually agreed to be bitten.
  • No Name Given: Except for Tom (Serner, from his answering machine message) and Lena (Bach, from her police record), none of the characters' last names are ever revealed.
  • Not Using The V Word: The word "vampire" is never spoken by anyone, even when it is made quite obvious what these women are.
  • Old Cop, Young Cop: Tom and Lummer.
  • Oh, Crap!: When Lena talks to Louise in the bathroom, turns and realises that Louise does not cast a reflection.
  • One-Gender Race: Vampires are all female, thanks to all of the male vampires having been exterminated for being too noticeable.
  • Only Sane Man: Lummer is the only character without any personality disorders or mental problems.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Charlotte mentions having a baby daughter before becoming a vampire, and later she attends said daughter at the hospital, old and on her deathbed.
  • Perky Goth: Nora is perhaps the archetype.
  • Pet the Dog: Louise tries to do this when Lena freaks out over the injured watchmen. The others don't seem to get why. She had apologized to the stewardess and killed her off quickly in the opening scene too.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: In the opening scene Louise is rather annoyed about Nora killing off the entire plane crew and Charlotte's insistence to finish her book when they need to jump out of the plane.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Louise is more than two hundred years old, but appears to be at most forty. Charlotte is over a hundred, but looks around thirty. Nora is thirty seven, but still appears to be about twenty.
  • Reincarnation Romance: When Louise talks about her own sire, she states that she was looking for someone with the same glint in her eyes, hinting at the wish to find a reincarnation of her former companion.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Louise gives Lena a post-transformation bath during which all of her various wounds heal, her tattoos and piercings disappear, her hair grows longer, and the black dye dissolves to show her natural auburn color. Afterward, she appears significantly more conventionally attractive overall. She looks so different that it's almost as if she was a different person.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: The film becomes more darker and dramatic after Nora dies.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Charlotte.
  • Suicide by Sunlight: Charlotte. This is a Dennis Gansel film after all.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Nora. She stole a car from the mobsters the vampires killed—a Lamborghini no less—without considering that the police would be able to use it to connect them to the murders. She is the one to die when the cops do just that.
    • She also killed the pilot in the beginning, so the vampires had to crash the plane.
  • Training from Hell: To teach Lena how to be a vampire, Louise and the other two give her to Russian pimps, who try to beat and rape her, in order to trigger her natural defense mechanisms. The other three still have to step in to prevent Lena from being too badly beaten.
  • Tsundere: Lena towards Tom, and Nora towards a young man from the staff of their hotel. Both do it to protect the men and to keep up the Masquerade.
  • Vampire Bites Suck: It's obvious that the women know where the carotid is—almost every bite ends in a red puddle.
  • Vampires Are Rich: The women lead a very wealthy lifestyle. They live in a high-end hotel suite, can afford frequent dinners at fancy restaurants and shopping sprees, and own several expensive cars (though at least one of the cars was stolen), including customized "safe cars" with heavily tinted glass windows to protect them from sunlight.
  • Vampires Own Night Clubs: Louise, Nora, and Charlotte own an underground nightclub. Louise runs the club, Nora is the DJ, and according to the director Charlotte handles the finances.
  • Vegetarian Vampire: Played straight with Lena and averted with the others. The women have refrigerated bottles of blood that they drink, though the movie never explains where they come from. However, Louise, Charlotte, and Nora also gleefully feed on people in the traditional manner when given the opportunity. In addition, Lena sucks blood from pieces of raw meat on two occasions.
  • Wall Crawling: The vampires can walk on walls and ceilings as easily as they can walk across the floor, though it apparently requires a bit of practice to be able to maintain this for long.
  • What Have I Become?: Lena gets a lot of these.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Charlotte is depressed with being immortal, because she had a husband and daughter who were left behind when Louise made her a vampire. After watching her now very old daughter die in a nursing home, Charlotte takes her own life.
  • Workaholic: Tom, which Lummer calls him out on.
  • Yandere: Louise to Lena - oh so much.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: The earless Russian mobster, when he's talking to the police about what he saw. Unsurprisingly, Tom and Lummer think he was on drugs.
    Lummer: Why did you burn your partners?
    Mobster: I didn't kill anyone. It was the women. They had the devil's eyes, and they ran on the ceiling!
    Lummer: Oh, so they have wings? They can fly?
  • You Need to Get Laid: Whenever Tom and Lummer do not talk about work, Lummer talks about how Tom needs a girlfriend, and that is maybe why he smiles at the end of the film.
  • Your Vampires Suck: Slightly hinted at in a conversation between Lena and the other women. When Lena asks if there are male vampires too, Louise states that they murdered them all because they just were too noticeable. If that's not an allusion to sparkling skin and bloody meals on stage as well as various other works, nothing is.


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