We Are the Night (film)

We Are the Night (film)
We Are the Night

US release poster
Directed by Dennis Gansel
Produced by Christian Becker
Written by Jan Berger
Dennis Gansel(Original treatment "The Dawn")
Starring Karoline Herfurth
Nina Hoss
Jennifer Ulrich
Anna Fischer
Max Riemelt
Music by Heiko Maile
Cinematography Torsten Breuer
Editing by Ueli Christen
Studio Rat Pack Filmproduktion
Distributed by Constantin Film
Release date(s) 28 October 2010 (2010-10-28)
Running time 100 minutes
Country Germany
Language German

We Are the Night (German: Wir sind die Nacht) is a 2010 German vampire thriller film directed by Dennis Gansel, starring Karoline Herfurth and Nina Hoss. The film deals with a young woman who gets bitten by a female vampire and drawn into her world. She falls in love with a young police officer who investigates a murder case involving the vampires.



The film opens with several images of three young women. The images date further and further back until ending in the late 1700's.

In a private airplane, the people and the pilots are dead. The only survivors, three young women, are the obvious killers. The leader of these women finds an air-hostess still alive. After examining her eyes, she breaks her neck and the women jump out of the plane, allowing it to crash into Berlin.

In Berlin, a young criminal, Lena, lurks near a cash dispenser. Just as her victim has used the machine she pickpockets his credit card only for the victim to be arrested by the police. A police officer, Tom, chases after her. with Tom in close pursuit, Lena climbs over a barbwired fence hurting her hand. She runs through a clothing store, grabs a dress, and manages to shake Tom off for a moment. Lena changes into the dress on a brige and hides her clothes. Tom runs into Lena asking if she's seen the boy he thinks he is chasing. After a short conversation, he sees her handwound. He tries to arrest her but Lena hits him in the face and jumps off the bridge onto a boat.

Later that evening, Lena goes to a nightclub. Everyone in line for the club is being examined with a hidden camera by one of the women from the beginning, Louise. Upon seeing Lena, she orders the guard to let her in. Inside the club, Louise dances with Lena and offers her a drink. She asks where Lena's friends are, but Lena replies she does not have any. When Lena goes to the bathroom, Louise follows and bites her in the shoulder. The terrified Lena runs home. When she awakes in the morning, the sun burns her, forcing her to stay inside. That night, Lena returns to the club to confront Louise about what has happened. She meets Louise's two companions, the silent Charlotte and the cheerful Nora. Although never said in the film, it becomes clear that Louise, Charlotte and Nora are vampires.

The girls sell the angry and confused Lena to a Russian pimp as a prostitute. Louise plans for Lena to kill the wicked man to ease her transformation. Lena is locked in a room. When the pimp comes in to clean her up, she is overwhelmed by vampiric blood lust and attacks the pimp. In the struggle, she stabs him with a broken light bulb, but he shoots her with a shotgun. The girls return to kill the pimp and two of his henchmen before setting them ablaze. They fail to notice another mobster hiding in fear. Before leaving, Nora steals one of the mobster's lamborghini.

When Lena awakes at the hotel, Louise gives her a glass of what appears to be blood. As Lena drinks, she feels her strength return. Louise takes care of Lena, removing her dirty and destroyed clothes and showing her to a bathroom where a bath is waiting. After closing the door to leave Lena alone, Louise tells her the story of how she was changed 280 years ago at a masked ball. At first she hating her maker, she grew to love her after traveling throughout Europe and getting to know all the benefits of vampire life. After her maker was burned (killed by sunlight), Louise wanted to commit suicide to join her, but instead began searching for a new companion. As Lena baths, her short hair grows and returns to it's natural color, her piercing falls out and she loses all bruises and wounds (including a tatoo on her stomach).

Lena spends a night shopping, partying and having fun with the vampire girls who give her the stolen lamborghini. As they party, Lena notices that Charlotte longingly staring at a pair of baby shoes. Charlotte also exhibits several signs of depression and engades in acts of self-harm, among other things burning her own eyeball (which immediately heals). During a dinner (the vampires can eat and taste food but it does not satisfy them), Louise tells Lena that there are no male vampires. As the male vampires grew arrogant, the females tired of their superiority and killed all of them with the common promise to never turn a man into a vampire. As the night comes to an end, the vampires return to their hotel to perform their morning ritual: allowing the first rays of sun burn their skin but retreating inside before any harm can be done. Charlotte stays outside longer than the others, but retreats before catching fire. Louise kisses Lena, which startles and confuses Lena, before she interrupts herself and begins cursing her hastiness.

Meanwhile, Tom uses a file on Lena to find her home address. The next night Lena returns home to visit her mother who has not even noticed her absence. As Lena leaves, Toms sees her, but almost does not recognize her. He tells Lena that she could go to jail for 18 months if he arrested her for stealing the credit card, but says he won't because her victim used women. The two have a shot and talk, but when Lena suddenly sees Louise approaching, she uses her Lamborghini to retreat to the vampire's nightclub. She finds Charlotte in a private room where Charlotte tells Lena that she was a silent movie actress in the 1920s and that she had a husband and daughter. Louise enters the room and asks Lena why she is acting different. Lena lies that she misses the sun, so Louise takes the girls to a pool with artificial sunlight allowing them to have a poolparty "in the sun". Two nightwatchmen find the girls and ask how they managed to get inside. Nora convinces the men to join them in the pool where she quickly kills off one of them, but as water slows the vampires down, the other tries to escape. Charlotte kills this man in a sadistic manner, slicing his throat with a piece of paper which causes him to die slowly and painfully. Lena flees the scene in terror.

Tom and his partner, Lummer, interrogate the surviving Russian mobster van Gough who says that the devil killed his friends and stole his lamborghini. Tom realizes that the stolen car is the car he saw Lena drive. Nora awakes with a bellboy she had fallen in love with. She tries to wake him, but realizes she killed him when they had sex. Nora breaks down in tears as the other girls come into the room. Louise shows her that SWAT is invading the building. Charlotte says she will stall them while the girls make their escape. The vampires have special cars with tinted windows to protect them from sunlight if they ever had to escape during daylight. Lena and Louise take one car while Nora drives alone. The police who think the girls are simply dangerous criminals are slaughtered by Charlotte. Tom enters the room looking for Lena and manages to shoot Charlotte before she attacks him, causing her to fall out the window. As the sun starts to burn her skin, Lena and Louise manage to get her inside their car. Nora crashed into a car and is thrown into sunlight. Police open fire at the other car letting in sunlight on the vampires. Unable to save Nora, they drive away as Charlotte looks back at her friend burning to death and screams in agony. The roof of the car is ripped off in a driving block and the girl crash into a subway to escape sunlight.

The three remaining girls hide in an abandoned storehouse where Louise has kept cash. Louise angrily blames Lena for leading the police to them and for Nora's death. Now wanted by the police, the girls prepare to escape to Moscow. Before leaving, Charlotte demands to see her elderly daughter. At the retirement home Charlotte sings a lullaby to her dying daughter whom in her last moments recognizes her mother. With a whole day before their departure to Russia the girls return to their hideout to perform their morning ritual. As the sun rises, Charlotte locks Lena and Louise inside and allows the sun the kill her. Louise breaks down into tears.

Lena goes to Tom to say good bye and show him who she really is (He shots her and the wound is healing infront of his eyes). Lena begins to cry while Tom holds her and they fall asleep. The SWAT is invading the building and Lena almost kills the policemen but then stops and Tom & her get into jail. Louise goes to the watchmen while they're in the shower and kills them. After that she asks Lena how she will manage to live with Tom, because he will die in ca. 80 years and then she'll be alone. Louise kidnaps Tom and Lena follows her. The sunshine is rising when they meet and Louise wants Lena to tell her "I love you". Lena douse so and Louise says that that's the most beautiful lie she's ever heard and shots Tom. Louise and Lena have a fight and Lena kills Louise by throwing her into the sunlight. She runs to Tom and wants to bite him, but stops, kisses him and begins to cry.

At the end the SWAT is coming with Lummer. Lena and Tom are gone with no trace other than Louise's gun. Lummer looks outside and sees something the other police and the audience don't. Lummer whispers Good luck and walks away from the scene.

Alternative Endings

Two other endings where shot for this film, like with Gansel's previous film The Wave. Both were discarded to bring a more ambigious ending to the film.

The first alternative ending plays out almost like the final ending. It continues after Lena starts to cry and shows her running away into the subway station leaving Tom behind. She stops and looks behind her before start to running again.

In the second ending however, Lena finds Tom dying from his wound and bites him turning him into a vampire. Lena whispers forgive me as Tom rises on his feet. The camera moves away as they look on each other. It's notable to mention that when turning Tom, Lena flies backwards crashing into the wall after delivering the bite much like Louise did she bit her.


  • Karoline Herfurth as Lena
  • Nina Hoss as Louise
  • Jennifer Ulrich as Charlotte
  • Anna Fischer as Nora
  • Max Riemelt as Tom
  • Arved Birnbaum as Lummer
  • Steffi Kühnert as Lena's mother
  • Ivan Shvedoff as van Gogh
  • Waléra Kanischtscheff as Wasja (The Pimp)
  • Christian Näthe as Guard 1
  • Tom Jahn as Guard 2
  • Neil Belakhdar as Bellboy (Nora's Lover)
  • Cristina do Rego as Stewardess


Dennis Gansel originally wrote the script back in 1999. Then called The Dawn, the plot dealt with a love story between a Berlin vampire and a mortal. He pitched the movie to Nina Hoss, who became very enthusiastic and wanted to do the film right away. The script was in development hell for several years. First Franka Potente was going to direct, but with the flop of Creep, no one wanted to invest in German horror films. Gansel almost gave up hope until the release and success of Twilight sparked a wave of vampire films, and the success of Gansel's The Wave gave him free hands. Due to the similarities between the original script and Twilight, Gansel had Jan Berger rewrite the script, now under the title Wir sind die Nacht. Thinking that a ordinary love story was no longer in place with the boom of star crossed vampire/human relationships Gansel imagened a darker twist on the subject was more in order. He came up with a new, darker love story and took Carmilla as inspiration as he thought while Dracula had been done to death, no one had really made a serious attempt on Carmilla. Karoline Herfurth was shown the script back in 2000, but she was to young to play Lena, so Gansel promised her the role of Nora. But as production was delayed, Herfurth became old enough for the part of Lena. Instead Anna Fischer was cast as Nora, who in the eye of producer Christian Becker was the perfect choice because she looked like a party girl. As background for the disco was an old bathhouse. The pool was unheated and therefore all the actors and extras had to play the scene in the cold. The exterior shots of the club came in a deserted theme park in the Berlin district of Treptow-Köpenick, and Spree in the park.

Most of the stunts in the film were done by the actresses themselves.


The film's score was composed by Heiko Maille and performed by the Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg. The soundtrack album, released as a MP3 download and on CD, features the majority of the songs and parts of the score.

  1. "Self-fulfilling Prophecy" − Scala & Kolacny Brothers
  2. "In Our Eyes" (Anthony Mills Soundtrack Version) − Moonbootica
  3. "Wir sind die Nacht" − Covenant
  4. "Charlotte's Death (Au Claire De La Lune)" (Score) − Heiko Maile
  5. "Nightlife" − IAMX
  6. "Lena's Metamorphosis" (Score) − Heiko Maile
  7. "Cold Song" − Klaus Nomi
  8. "Escape From The Hotel (Suite)" (Score) − Heiko Maile
  9. "Dumpfe Träume (WSDN Remix)" − Xenia Beliayeva
  10. "Miserable Girl (Nite Version)" − Soulwax
  11. "Tief in der Nacht" − DJ Valero
  12. "IERS" − Dirk Blümlein Terzett
  13. "Land Of The Free" − Warren Suicide
  14. "Farewell My Child" (Score) − Heiko Maile
  15. "Pretty When You Cry" − VAST
  16. "Russian Whorehouse (Suite)" (Score) − Heiko Maile
  17. "Big And Bad (WSDN Edit)" − Gabriel Le Mar

The complete score was released as a MP3 download on Amazon.de.

Critical reception

The film was nominated for Best Editing and Best Film score at the 2011 German Film Awards. It was awarded the Special Jury Award at the 43rd Sitges Film Festival.[1]

The film holds a 60% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[2]

See also

  • Vampire film


External links

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