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10/4/13

THE ADDICTION - REVIEW


Whoever said that vampire movies needed to be fun?

Not Abel Ferrara, that's for sure.

The Addiction is many things but fun isn't one of them. This is a vampire film that's as dark as night and miserable as hell, it's not there to entertain or sugar-coat anything: it's there to be mostly unsettling. The whole vampires-as-junkies metaphor lacks some subtlety throughout the whole film, to be honest, but it's an interesting approach and you do want to stick around and see in which direction they take it. Personally, I much prefer Near Dark's more subtle take on that but The Addiction's monochrome, bleak-as-can-be attitude provides a slightly more brutal and raw outlook which you don't see very often in that type of film. The plot follows a philosophy student, played by Lili Taylor who, long before she lost her shit in The Conjuring, was already a pro at looking wounded and just plain depressed. She gets bitten by vampire and slowly starts to turn. We know this because she starts looking sicker and sicker and starts craving human blood. To put it in modern terms for ya: think what happens to Bella in Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 but in black-and-white and not hilarious.

Along the way, she meets a bunch of dodgy, gloomy characters, the most memorable of which is Christopher Walken who has some big monologue about halfway through the movie. Taylor's character is introduced to us as someone really bummed out by the shitty world we live in and we then follow her as she essentially becomes part of the problem by letting all that misery inhabit her fully. Yes, this is an arty flick with philosophical aspirations and, more often than not, it can come off as pretty pretentious so The Addiction is most definitely not for everyone. If you put the social commentary to one side, however, the film is really atmospheric and has a unique mood to it. It's never a particularly upbeat mood but it sells the whole vampire-as-a-curse thing which some vampire movies sometimes fail to make all that convincing.

Overall, this is a dark, colourless and ultimately joyless film which will either alienate you completely or draw you into its depressing take on vampire lore. Regardless, The Addiction looks great and feels like very few vampire films you've seen so there's always that.

Grim.

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