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This is a vampire movie which is very different to the likes of Twilight, Trueblood or Blade. It's a poetic and disturbing exploration of the nature of addiction, shot in bleached-out black and white to heighten the effect of the blood-soaked moments. If you're looking for an action movie or an episode of Underworld then move straight along -- you'll find The Addiction to be slowly-paced, peculiar and unrewarding.
If, however, you enjoyed Bad Lieutenant Bad Lieutenant [DVD] [1993], The Hunger The Hunger [DVD] [1983] or maybe even Cat People Cat People [DVD] [1982], then this film should capture your attention. A philosophy student is ambushed and bitten in a New York alley. Her descent into insanity and addiction is documented, and she struggles to come to terms with her need to feed and the meaning of personal responsibility. She destroys her relationships with those who trust her, and creates a coven of the undead -- all in an entirely modern manner. The mono cinematography nicely underplays the gory moments, making them more realistic.
Chris Walken has only a short cameo, and it's outstanding. He's at his strange, other-worldly best as a mature vampire, in control of himself and his own addiction. But don't expect to see very much of him; the character slips in and out of the story without leaving much of a ripple.
The filming is a little too 'documentary' for me in places (jarring and jerky) and the soundtrack rather too rap-raucous, which dates the action somewhat. This is also quite a short film, but it packs a big punch for its petite running time. Not the best vamp movie I've watched, but thought-provoking.
8/10
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This is a vampire movie which is very different to the likes of Twilight, Trueblood or Blade. It's a poetic and disturbing exploration of the nature of addiction, shot in bleached-out black and white to heighten the effect of the blood-soaked moments. If you're looking for an action movie or an episode of Underworld then move straight along -- you'll find The Addiction to be slowly-paced, peculiar and unrewarding.
If, however, you enjoyed Bad Lieutenant Bad Lieutenant [DVD] [1993], The Hunger The Hunger [DVD] [1983] or maybe even Cat People Cat People [DVD] [1982], then this film should capture your attention. A philosophy student is ambushed and bitten in a New York alley. Her descent into insanity and addiction is documented, and she struggles to come to terms with her need to feed and the meaning of personal responsibility. She destroys her relationships with those who trust her, and creates a coven of the undead -- all in an entirely modern manner. The mono cinematography nicely underplays the gory moments, making them more realistic.
Chris Walken has only a short cameo, and it's outstanding. He's at his strange, other-worldly best as a mature vampire, in control of himself and his own addiction. But don't expect to see very much of him; the character slips in and out of the story without leaving much of a ripple.
The filming is a little too 'documentary' for me in places (jarring and jerky) and the soundtrack rather too rap-raucous, which dates the action somewhat. This is also quite a short film, but it packs a big punch for its petite running time. Not the best vamp movie I've watched, but thought-provoking.
8/10
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This is a vampire movie which is very different to the likes of Twilight, Trueblood or Blade. It's a poetic and disturbing exploration of the nature of addiction, shot in bleached-out black and white to heighten the effect of the blood-soaked moments. If you're looking for an action movie or an episode of Underworld then move straight along -- you'll find The Addiction to be slowly-paced, peculiar and unrewarding.
If, however, you enjoyed Bad Lieutenant Bad Lieutenant [DVD] [1993], The Hunger The Hunger [DVD] [1983] or maybe even Cat People Cat People [DVD] [1982], then this film should capture your attention. A philosophy student is ambushed and bitten in a New York alley. Her descent into insanity and addiction is documented, and she struggles to come to terms with her need to feed and the meaning of personal responsibility. She destroys her relationships with those who trust her, and creates a coven of the undead -- all in an entirely modern manner. The mono cinematography nicely underplays the gory moments, making them more realistic.
Chris Walken has only a short cameo, and it's outstanding. He's at his strange, other-worldly best as a mature vampire, in control of himself and his own addiction. But don't expect to see very much of him; the character slips in and out of the story without leaving much of a ripple.
The filming is a little too 'documentary' for me in places (jarring and jerky) and the soundtrack rather too rap-raucous, which dates the action somewhat. This is also quite a short film, but it packs a big punch for its petite running time. Not the best vamp movie I've watched, but thought-provoking.
8/10
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VINE VOICEon 12 August 2010
'The Addiction' is a compelling little movie. Shot in B&W, which adds to the tension of the film, it's the story of a students transformation into a vamp - and subsequent descent into madness - with a difference. There are no bats, capes or sparkles here, which makes a refreshing change. There's some cool, unnerving acting from Lili Taylor - an often underestimated performer - and a cracking cameo from Christopher Walken at his creepy, understated best. If there was a fault here, it's with the rap soundtrack, which dates the film badly and detracts from it on the whole - and the philosophy angle does grate after a while. For my money, the most disturbing scene in the whole movie is our alpha heroines trip to A&E after being bitten. All that medical insurance and nobody knows how to clean up a neck wound! Or maybe it was a blooper... anyway, a thoughtfully written film with a lot of undercurrents that stays with you long after the first bite.
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on 1 April 2011
I take The Addiction for what it seems to be, an original, low budget, artistic take on vampires with many philosophical murmurings and numerous metaphors thrown in about the spread of disease, the frailty of life and perhaps, in darker moments, how pointless life can be. It's a film open to interpretation and I've heard many different opinions, mainly that's a metaphor for drug addiction. I originally just first watched it as a vampire film, I saw in the tv guide- vampire film with Christopher Walken and that was me sold, but it turned out to be so much more.

It follows Kathleen 'Kathy' Conklin (played wonderfully by Lili Taylor)a philosophy student who after an attack in an alleyway finds herself changing both physically and mentally, metamorphosing into not just a vampire but an addict, a being unable to resist the urge to kill and to question, as her new desire for blood has her questioning everything.

It is a dark and gritty film with images of the victims of war poignantly mixed in with images of Kathy turning others into her victims via betrayal, false allurings and the same verbal bullying she was at first subjected to during which the attacker demanded to be told to go away instead of pleaded to pathetically.

Christopher Walken's appearance is brief and memorable as an older vampire there to scold Kathy and try to school her in their ways. He is his usual dark, creative and wonderful self with a cold, domineering performance. Edie Falco of Sopranos fame also puts in a good performance as Kathy's friend and fellow student Jean who seems a lot more accepting of their philosophical beliefs than Cathy and acts as a good contrast between the pair.

It's a short film shot in black and white and if you are looking for Twilight this is not it. It's not so deeply into vampires as the older films (no crucifixes, garlic or coffins) though it has the darkness, loss and sorrow of Interview with the Vampire. It is a unique film creating its own modern version of what vampires might be whilst retaining their bloody, brutal essence. It is not just one of the best vampire films I have seen but one of the best films also and I would thoroughly recommend to anyone looking for something a little less mainstream.
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#1 HALL OF FAMEon 12 April 2002
'The Addiction' was filmed before 'The Funeral'- though it is taken that you watch the latter first & then this (are Sciorra & Walken playing the same characters from 'The Funeral'?-it isn't made explicit)...This is a fresh if pretentious vampire film- far from 'Buffy...' or 'The Lost Boys'; its closest relative is George Romero's 'Martin' (or aspects of 'Near Dark')...Lili Taylor is typically brilliant in the lead, as is Edie Falco (The Sopranos) as a fellow-student/vampire. The college (university) setting helps give access to the philosophical notions of existence- notably Nietzsche's 'Beyond Good & Evil'. As with 'Se7en' these literary references seem to be both over-pretentious & stretched in their meaning. I'm sure Ferrara 'means it'- it's just that images of the Holocaust & pretentious philosophysing on the nature of evil don't relate: you can debate the psychopathology of the final solution all you want- it doesn't change anything. As with any film that uses images of the Holocaust it is problematic-making this a relative of 'The Night Porter'. The endless philosophy is also humourless & , at times, tedious. There is some humour- the post-graduation ceremony is rather good- as is the literal/realist evocation of the vampire. Walken's cameo is brilliant-though not nearly long enough. The film is wonderfully photographed & a different kind of vampire film that should be seen by anyone who enjoys this kind of film. It is nowhere near the brilliance of 'The Funeral'- which is a much more convincing treatise on Catholicism & Evil. Still, a lot more convincing than mediocrity like 'Bram Stoker's Dracula', 'The Hunger' & 'Interview with the Vampire'. The attempt to bring the vampire concept into the modern age marks this film out.
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on 21 October 2013
I must admit to being partial to Ferrara's rough and ready film making style, having greatly enjoyed the Driller Killer, and so bought this film "blindly", upon seeing it for sale. I had no idea what it was about, only that Ferrara directed it and Christopher Walken stars in it; I can honestly say that this is one of the best "blind buys" of my life.

It's about a young philosophy undergrad called Kathleen Conklin (Lili Taylor, giving it her all), who is bitten by a vampire in a dark underpass (one of the films many spellbinding Gothic sequences), and then herself turns into a vampire. She battles with this "addiction" over a great many years, meeting Walken's passive and wise vampire along the way, all before a dark and twisted conclusion.

Where this film excels is in its merciless slaying of the usual tropes of the vampire genre, and constant willingness to look at the more philosophical aspects of such an existence; there are clear metaphors with drug use (hence the title), and Kathleen's position as a philosophy student isn't just a script requirement to give her "character"; there is a direct and frequent interpretation and discussion of the meanings of various heavy philosophical texts. The implication is that all the great philosophers were in contact with, or were themselves, vampires; it's an outlandish one, but (somehow) within the film it never seems ridiculous at all.

As you might have gathered already; this is not a film for everyone, and it's certainly not your average vampire movie. It makes the edgy aspects of "Interview With The Vampire" (which I admire, book and film) look tame, and the film carries a certain sense of the terrifying, the unknown, that is present in every frame. The black and white cinematography isn't just an arty and pretentious style choice (although you could take it to be a reflection of how none of the issues discussed are black and white), but instead seems to be simply an aesthetic one; in trying to emulate the fairly tame terrors of the black and white monster films of yore, this film only grows in terms of impact. Ferrara makes good use of locations, with his apartments and vast, imposing streets; it feels like an expressionist movie in New York.

The saddest thing about this film is, mainly, how unknown and under-appreciated it is. Despite being Peter Bradshaw's favourite film , him being the Guardian's chief critic, you'd think this film would have more fanfare, or a larger cult audience, and that is a deep shame that it doesn't. I'm holding out for the revival this dark, un-nerving, brooding and terrifying film deserves.
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on 29 March 2015
I bought this as a well known film critic cited it as one of his favourites, I was really expecting something good and wanted to like this film. However I found it stunningly dull. The film comfortably parallels drug addiction with a Vampires addiction for blood. At the start of the film as main character Kathy is introduced she is almost immediately attacked by a Vampire who then turns her into one. Problem is you know nothing about Kathy before she was turned, so you have no investment in her and as a result I didn't really care about what happens to her throughout.

Kathy continues her philosophy doctorate, becoming sullen and moody, avoiding mirrors and daylight and spouting these great gouts of rabid Philosophy on the nature of inherent human evilness to anyone that will listen, pushing away hurting and infecting people close to her as well as random strangers that she meets (Hey just like a drug addict would!). The dialogue is 2D, the way it has been shot is also flat and unappealing. The whole thing seems like it was created with no budget (which is admirable) or imagination (which is not) . To the best of my recollection the Vampires don't even have fangs, which makes one of the final scenes - in which Kathy's doctorate party turns into feeding frenzy look more like a Zombie flick than anything else. No doubt this lack of fangs is supposed to signify something which I'm not yet enlightened enough to understand however I think this film is it's own harshest critic. It's incredibly short clocking in at only around 75 minutes of actual film time, clearly anything more in this overly simple story made complicated would be painful. On the plus side Christopher Walken is amazing in this, but he's only in it for 5 minutes. Edie Falco and Lili Taylor also perform well with their believable friendship but the rest was just not for me. Disappointed!

You will probably like this if you are a nihilist.
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on 17 February 2011
This Scanbox -dvd of The Addiction has cropped 4:3 aspect ratio instead of the original 16:9 (1.85:1) that is mentioned in the product details here in Amazon.
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on 17 December 2012
This is the worst review I have ever wrote:
I bought this DVD as I work in the field of addiction,.....How disappointing, not only did the film lack sustenance, the acting was astonishingly AWFUL, the resemblance of this film and addiction was similar to the resemblance to curry and custard, and as for the dialogue, if like me you are not familiar with the works of, Kant, Descartes, Sartre and Foucault, then this film speaks to you in a deep constant philosophical language I had no understanding of, subtitles were most definitely needed to understand what was being said, if you are familiar with the great philosophers, then I am equally sure that after the first 5 minutes you would have conceded that enough was definitely enough. A total waste of time money on my part.
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