Thursday, November 26, 2020

#2,522. The Addiction (1995)

Existence is the search for relief from our habit, and our habit is the only relief we can find”. 

This is a line spoken by Kathleen (Lili Taylor) - the lead character in Abel Ferrara’s 1995 horror film The Addiction - in her dual role as narrator. A graduate student majoring in philosophy, Kathleen’s world is turned upside-down following a chance encounter with a vampire (Annabella Sciorra). As a result of being bitten, Kathleen herself begins to change, and before long her craving for blood is uncontrollable. 

At first energized by this transformation, a brief meeting with another vampire named Peina (Christopher Walken, in a brilliant cameo) soon has Kathleen seeing her “condition” in an entirely new light. 

 Shot in stunning black and white, The Addiction is a fascinating take on the vampire mythos, treating those “afflicted” with vampirism as addicts (equating their need for blood with alcoholism or drug dependency) while, at the same time, drawing comparisons between the so-called “evil” inherent in vampires and that of humanity itself (at one point, Kathleen attends a lecture about the My Lai Massacre, and later visits an exhibit featuring images from the Holocaust. With moments such as these, Ferrara seems to be suggesting that vampirism itself isn’t the root of evil, but is merely a magnification of the fundamental evil always lurking, dormant or otherwise, within mankind’s psyche). 

By way of his thoughtful approach to the material, coupled with a kinetic visual style, Ferrara has fashioned a vampire movie with an arthouse mentality that also features plenty of blood and carnage, creating what amounts to a hybrid genre film, one likely to impress academics as well as horror fans. This, along with an extraordinary performance by Lili Taylor, has me believing that The Addiction is one of the best vampire flicks I have ever seen. 
Rating: 9.5 out of 10 - don’t waste another minute… see it now!

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