Horror Recommendation: The Addiction (1995)

Posted: by Findlay

the addiction 1

The Addiction (1995) directed by Abel Ferrara

In one sentence: A young philosophy student is bitten and becomes a vampire. Struggling between addiction for blood and thirst for knowledge of the ancient curse shes inherited, she wanders through NYC wondering what she is and how powerful she can be.

Why you Should Watch: Abel Ferrara’s masterpiece and one of the best modern gothic vampire films.

Vampirism is used as a huge metaphor for drug addiction but its also related to a whole palette of themes such as AIDS, street crime, education, philosophy, war crimes, the never ending carousel of human sin and, ultimately, absolution.

The stark, gritty Black and White visuals of the film, to me, feel like a direct reference to the original Dracula films, but Ferrara’s giving us New Gothic for the modern era. The monotone also reflecting the main character Kathy’s change. The inevitability of vampirism. From Mortality to Immortality. No grey area. Which, ALSO, contradicts the themes of drug addiction and sin. These arent cut-and-dry existences. So film conflicts alot with itself in amongst the already heavily ponderous script. Its really great.

The characters are great with Lili Taylor’s Kathy going from studious college student to full blown nightstalker, spouting dialogue about the nature of human sin and rot while she comes to terms with who she is, eventually becoming full blown banshee and addict.

Also, Christopher Walken is in this film for ten minutes and he is incredible. Not in an ironic way, he’s actually amazing. He shows up, a hardened ancient “recovering” vampire. Telling Kathy about how to absolute herself and how to know what she’s become. The ancient evil she’s inherited.

Ive not mentioned the east-coast hip hop soundtrack, the mirroring of images at the start and end of the film (see Ferrara’s Body Snatchers), the subtleties of throw away musings or the fact the writing is fucking incredible. But what I will say is that this is one of the most interesting takes on vampirism I’ve seen in a long time.

Favorite Line: “The entire world’s a graveyard, and we, the birds of prey picking at the bones. That’s all we are. We’re the ones who let the dying know the hour has come.”