A romance, a western, and a totem to lost youth in an era ravaged by infection and addiction, it’s a high-water mark in a decade filled with exemplary genre fare. Borrowing from, and surpassing, the exceptional chemistry of Aliens’s tightly knit cast, the melancholic Near Dark is gorgeous even in its savagery, and one of pulp cinema’s greatest achievements.
Western iconography, noir-ish lighting, and visceral horror are fused with an affecting love story in this stylish 'Vampire Western', which (unlike Bigelow's rather static debut feature The Loveless) is driven forward at a scorching pace, a subtle study in the seductiveness of evil and a terrifying ride to the edge of darkness.
If you enjoy good horror or vampire flicks, Near Dark is one of the best.
There are no gothic extravagances in Kathryn Bigelow's bone-dry, style-rich, noir-steeped vampire western. Instead it comprises a fascinatingly modern take on blood sucking mythology, shedding tradition to examine the creatures as human counterparts.
Michael WilmingtonLos Angeles Times
Bigelow gets a scary poetry out of these landscapes--and though the film is erratic, it has force and passion...It works on your nerves--not necessarily through its big shock scenes, but through the atmosphere it creates: the sense of dread, no exit, lives plunging out of control, the secret mad pull of murder and outlawry.