There's a beautiful chemistry that makes "A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night" simultaneously feel familiar and original. Writer-director Ana Lily Amirpour doesn't invent the elements of her debut film, but she combines them to create something amazing.

There's a beautiful chemistry that makes "A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night" simultaneously feel familiar and original. Writer-director Ana Lily Amirpour doesn't invent the elements of her debut film, but she combines them to create something amazing.

In a nutshell, it's the best Iranian vampire movie of the year - and one of the best of any kind.

In a fictional Iranian ghost town called Bad City, we meet a young man named Arash (Arash Marandi). Arash dresses like James Dean in "Rebel Without a Cause" and cares for his drug-addicted father (Marshall Manesh).

Also wandering the streets of Bad City is a character credited as The Girl (the excellent Sheila Vand of "Argo"). The Girl lives a lonely life highlighted by listening to '80s synthpop on vinyl and feeding on the blood of men who prey on women.

Amirpour pulls off the most stylish, audacious film debut of the year. It combines a vampire movie and a Western and a love story and a family drama, all wrapped up in an art-house bow and shot gorgeously in black and white.

Comparisons to 2008's vampire-genre-redefining "Let the Right One In" are fair, and I'd also felt a similar vibe from Jonathan Glazer's enigmatic "Under the Skin" (and would expect the same style-over-substance complaints from some).

Oh, and on top of the genre-blending and the overflowing style, there's some sharp commentary on gender issues bubbling beneath the surface. "Girl Walks Home" is one of the best indies of the year.