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Habit [DVD] [US Import]

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Product details

  • Actors: Larry Fessenden, Meredith Snaider, Aaron Beall, Patricia Coleman, Heather Woodbury
  • Directors: Larry Fessenden
  • Writers: Larry Fessenden
  • Producers: Dayton Taylor, Susan A. Stover
  • Format: Colour, DVD-Video, Full Screen, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Fox Lorber
  • DVD Release Date: 12 Oct 1999
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000JS6N
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 164,435 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I discovered this film about half a decade ago, but have heard almost nothing about it since. Whether I'm reading books, or visiting horror movie review websites, the trend remains consistent: nobody has anything to say about this film - which is odd, considering that it got some very positive reviews from critics like Roger Ebert at the time of its release. Having impressed the critics and defied expectations, this remarkable film then went on to disappear without a trace. Why that is, I cannot say - lousy distribution, perhaps? Who knows? Whatever the case, the film has been forgotten.

I think that should change.

First things first though, what's the movie actually about? Well, here's a brief plot summary: Sam (played by director Larry Fessenden) is a down on his luck drunk, who is reeling from the collapse of a relationship, as well as the death of his father. One night, at a Halloween party, Sam unexpectedly meets the mysterious Anna, and the two quickly become intimately attached. The intense relationship goes on for some time, and during that period Sam starts to notice a lot of strange things happening around him -or rather, around Anna- which lead him to wonder whether there is more to his new lover than meets the eye. Maybe this is all a paranoid delusion on his part though..? It could be that Sam is losing it. But what if he's right though - what if Anna is actually a vampire?

The above plot synopsis doesn't really do justice to the film. Habit is one of those character-study/mood-pieces that emphasises details, suspense and character interaction (ala Rosemary's Baby) rather than convoluted plotting. For that reason, it's rather difficult for me to explain why the film works and why any self-respecting vampire movie buff should check it out.
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By Mr. R. Domar on 21 Mar 2011
Format: DVD
Plot. A man meets a girl, falls in love but she will only see him at night. She's a vampire.
This is a vampire drama which is unusual to say the least. It's boring as hell that's for sure. If you're looking for action very little here but if you can maintain your attention for almost 2 hours you'd be in for a tale that's fairly engrossing. The dialogue is well written and the actors are believable. The young man starts off as a lonely type character who's life is changed for the better with the girl but before long doubts begin to come to the fore about the relationship and he's then in something he doesn't quite understand.
This was an interesting and a bit disturbing modern take on the vampire myths and more like a psychological horror drama which due to its slow pace will not appeal to everyone.
Extras are a making of and bios. USA Release but plays Region zero.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 43 reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
The Lady IS a Vamp...Isn't She? 12 Feb 2004
By Michael R Gates - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Over the past fifteen years or so, talented indie writer and auteur Larry Fessenden has earned a reputation for creating high-quality, highly aesthetic films within the constraints of extremely meager budgets. Many of his films have been short works and have, unfortunately, gone unnoticed by the public at large, but in recent years, he has written and directed a handful of low-budget but high-quality feature-length horror films that have pushed him further and further into the limelight. HABIT is the second of these films, and it is his first work to have garnered both a high level of public attention and major critical acclaim (including a three-star "thumbs-up" from the venerable Roger Ebert).
The movie examines a small slice from the life of Sam (portrayed by the writer/director himself), a somewhat hapless part-time nightclub manager who has just split with his live-in girlfriend. At the Halloween party of some friends, a drunk and grungy Sam is inexplicably singled out by the attractive yet dark and ethereal Anna. In spite of the seeming mismatch, one thing leads to another, and Sam hastily plunges into a hot but reckless sexual relationship at the urging of this mysterious dark-haired beauty. During the next few weeks, they have sex in a park, sex on the rooftop of a New York apartment building, sex in a hospital examination room, and sex in numerous other bizarre situations and places. It isn't that Sam has a problem with copulating in risky environs; it's just that he's a bit put off by Anna's habit of biting and nipping him during the act. After every lovemaking session, Sam falls into a deep sleep, only to wake up the next morning, alone, with a new collection of bloody scrapes or bite-marks somewhere on his bod.
Sam has been feeling week and sickly as of late, though he at first attributes it to late-night work schedules and excessive drinking. But when his close friends start openly commenting on his increasingly gaunt appearance--or pointing out the freakish cuts and bites all over his arms and face--a light clicks on in his head. It suddenly dawns on him that he's never seen Anna in the daylight, he's never known her to perform common bodily functions like peeing or taking a crap, and he's never seen her eat or drink anything...that is, anything other than blood--HIS blood! As crazy as it seems, Sam can't help but ponder the possibility that Anna might be a vampire.
Once the vampirism seed in planted in Sam's own alcohol-saturated, sleep-deprived gray matter, he's unable to shake it off, even when his good friend Nick (Aaron Beall) points out the blatant absurdity of the idea. And the more obsessed Sam becomes with his belief, the more Anna reveals her true undead, bloodsucking nature. Or does she?
Fessenden is a master at subtly weaving the main themes of his stories into scenes that appear to be little more than visual records of common, everyday details. Perhaps it can be attributed to the human propensity for voyeurism, but these slice-of-life scenes are usually written and acted out with such objectivity and realism that the audience is compelled to keep watching, unaware that they are subliminally soaking up Fessenden's real message or theme. Then, when the audience is unwittingly hooked, Fessenden reels 'em in to an intensely emotional climax.
Now, even though the closing scene of HABIT is quite intense, it is still ambiguous enough to leave the movie open to interpretation. As mentioned above, the surface details of his films are starkly realistic and objective, but Fessenden nonetheless has a strong predilection for building these details around subtle and subjective themes. When a film reaches its conclusion, Fessenden wants the audience to discover for themselves--or, more accurately, to DECIDE for themselves--the underlying truth of that final scene, how that truth re-colors earlier events in the film, and what that truth ultimately means for the film's primary characters.
In one of the "making-of" featurettes on the HABIT DVD, Fessenden refers to this approach as his version of "interactive" cinema. This is a sort of cyberpunk way of saying that, like an expressionist painting or a cubist sculpture, a movie is more satisfying for the viewer if they have to do a little thinking and decide for themselves what the filmmakers are trying to say. Films that do so become more personal, more moving, and ultimately more important to the individual viewer. With HABIT, Fessenden excellently bears out this theory. The audience is allowed to decide on their own if Anna is a vampire or if Sam is just experiencing a mental breakdown. And interestingly enough, the details of the film are such that a cogent argument can be made for either interpretation, or even for a combination of the two.
The DVD from Fox Lorber/Glass Eye Pix offers a great transfer of HABIT in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The disc also contains the original theatrical trailer, several mini "making-of" featurettes, and a really cool music video for the song SAVE YOU FROM YOURSELF by Just Desserts, one of the songs featured in the film. (Larry Fessenden plays sax for Just Desserts, and he also worked on the filmmaking side of the humorous video featured on the disc.)
Indie films don't get much better than HABIT, and it will make a fantastic addition to the collection of any horror fan or film lover. And at's excellent asking price for the DVD, it's a real steal!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Excellent! 26 Oct 2001
By A Customer - Published on
Format: DVD
Being a long time fan of vampire books and movies, especially those that depict the vampire's world as gothic and sexy, I've occasionally found myself wishing vampires were real. Following those thoughts down their inevitable dark and twisted path, I've puzzled over whether the reality would be as romantic as the fiction. You know, finding myself locked in a room with an incredible hunk claiming to be a vampire who wants to make love to me, suck my blood and offering me the chance to die and become a vampire, too...well, could the guy's claims be believed or is he really just some psycho who's going to torture and brutally murder me?! The movie, Habit, seemed to bring my mental dilemma to life. The people and settings are commonplace and familiar. When Sam tries to share his fears about Anna with Nick, Nick finds it impossible to entertain the idea of vampires really existing, but then so does Sam for that matter. Sam's just trying to figure out exactly what's going on; he knows he's getting all messed up. The viewers aren't given the answer either, but rather they are left to come to their own conclusions. For myself, I'm with Sam and lean towards Anna being a vampire; but then maybe Sam's perceptions are skewed due to the problems already in his life, his drinking among them. Habit is the most believable vampire movie I've ever seen, and I give it a resounding five stars and two thumbs up!!
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Great Film! 10 Jun 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: DVD
I was absolutely impressed with HABIT. If you only want gallons of gore horror flicks, or shot-on-video lesbian vampire goofiness, avoid HABIT. HABIT is a mature, intelligent, believable, and completely entertaining vampire film. The characters and the plot hook you in. You can't wait to see what happens next. The pacing is tight, never letting you get bored. This is a fantastic genre film for intelligent horror fans. Romero's MARTIN was one of the best vampire films to ever give you the "vampire in modern times" treatment. I am a big fan of that movie and I would rank HABIT right up there with it. Go rent or buy HABIT now! I highly recommend it!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Haunting and Mesmerizing 13 Nov 2004
By D. West - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a film for people with a high degree of imagination and intelligence. The story is not necessarily what it seems, or perhaps it is, it's for the viewer to interpret. Sam may indeed be the prey of the mysterious and beautiful vampire, Anna; or he may be imagining more than there is due to his own draining excesses of despair, loss, isolation, and alcoholism. This is what makes the film so interesting. If you want a cut and dry, highly special effect-laden vampire flick, this is likely not for you. For those that like their mind challenged, see it.

Filmed on a relatively low budget (and based on an earlier video work) Larry Fessenden has achieved a more engrossing film than I've seen on the big budget screen (as an example, while "The Hulk" was a nice exercise in special fx, it bored me in comparison to "Habit"). Habit's history is nicely chronicled in the bonus features on the DVD.

Meredith Snaider is wonderful as the mysterious Anna. She remains a mystery in life. All we know about her in the bios included in the disc is that this is her only film; there is no background info on her at all; I did, however, learn that she became a social worker in real life after this film. I hope she is aware that her talent is truly appreciated in her one screen appearance.

Amaze your friends, invite them for a showing of a truly innovative and often disturbing film. Let the independant fimmakers show how they pioneer the art, especially Larry Fessenden. See "Habit."
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I mean this is FRESH 7 Oct 2004
By Bob L - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Well, it's been about five years since I've seen Habit but it's always stuck with me. I plan to buy the DVD and was a liitle put put back by some of the reviews that went so, so deep into the plot. Reviews should be about what the film did to you not what the film was about. At least not specifically and not in great detail, at least not without first warning the reader.

Well what I got from the flick was something new as far as experiences. I'm looking at this guy who's hair is falling out right in front of me and is he???yeah he's missing some teeth.
Is this our HERO, is this our protagonist? Some said the acting was bad. I don't know but what I saw was the complete absence of acting. I mean, man, this was FRESH ! ! I thought I was watching a real party in action. I was floored to find out that Larry was the everything to this little gem, writer, director, star and who knows what else.

Now, I am a big fan of horror movies but I've never been much of a fan of vampire movies. I didn't like Bela or Christopher or even The Addiction, which was heavily touted. I find most of them to be really cornball. The few exceptions are of course Murnau's Nosferatu and few others but for me not much exist in the genre between 1922 and 1997.

A bunch of people mention(even the good reviews) that it's slow but I don't remember that. I think maybe my memory is not serving me right or it was just that I found the whole thing so engrossing, time had no relevance(a real good indication of good filmmaking).

The best I can do to explain it is Little Fugitive meets Shadow of the Vampire. Somewhere in between that you'll find this most indie of Indie films, Habit. If you liked Slacker or Smithereens or Shadows or Kenneth Angers' films or Laws of Gravity or Repo Man or even Return to Salem's Lot, you might find this very satisfying. This is a real good answer to what "slick" really is when compared to, let's say, Jerry Bruckhiemer sense of "slick" which is really only "gloss". Well, I hope memory served me well enough to be seeing the gem I vaguely remember and I hope I don't let you down if I spurred your curiousity enough to watch this very different experience. If I remember correctly, it's well worth the time. All 112 mins.

I got it and memory serve me very well but I did forget how much sex(for my money, really good)there is in this hot little movie that puts to shame so many productions costing ten or even a hundred times as much. As much as I like Innocent Blood and Devil's Advocate, this is a much better movie on a small fraction of the budget. This ain't cornball. Also, it's got REAL good music.
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