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The Hunger (1983)

tomatometer

60

Average Rating: 5.6/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.

audience

68

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 12,433

My Rating

Movie Info

The exquisitely beautiful Catherine Deneuve plays Miriam, a centuries-old vampire capable of bestowing the gift of immortality on her lovers -- namely her current partner John (David Bowie). To sustain their sanguinary requirements, the pair cruises New York nightclubs in search of victims (as illustrated in a stunning opening sequence to the accompaniment of "Bela Lugosi's Dead" performed by seminal Goth band Bauhaus). When John awakens one morning to discover telltale signs of aging, it is

R,

Horror

Oct 5, 2004

MGM

Watch It Now

Cast

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All Critics (28) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (15) | DVD (13)

In his feature debut, director Tony Scott, brother of Ridley, exhibits the same penchant for eleborate art direction, minimal, humorless dialog and shooting in smoky rooms.

November 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Visual sensualities will have a feast, but you'll have to read Whitley Strieber's novel if you don't want to emerge with a badly scratched head.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Hunger is an agonizingly bad vampire movie, circling around an exquisitely effective sex scene. Sorry, but that's the way it is, and your reporter has to be honest.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie reeks with chic, but never, for one minute, takes itself too seriously, nor does it ever slop over into camp.

August 30, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The obsessive conjunction of lesbian sex and flowing blood suggests a deep-seated misogyny, but neither this nor any other theme is registered with enough clarity to offend.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As good a horror film in the most pure, rarefied sense of "horror" that the '80s produced in English.

June 24, 2013 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

Vampire movies were always cool, but it took The Hunger to make them modern.

May 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Mania.com
Mania.com

Bloody lesbian-vampire story is stylish, but no Twilight.

March 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Comments (2)
Common Sense Media

The focus of Hunger is emphatically the death of Bobby Sands, specifically, what happens to his body, viewed from a tragic outside and, to an imaginative extent, a determined inside.

April 7, 2009 Full Review Source: PopMatters | Comment (1)
PopMatters

More style than substance, and perhaps simply an excuse to get Denueve and Susan Sarandon, Miriam's post-Bowie love, in bed together.

November 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

A slick, largely empty visual exercise with vague thematic overtones about a clash between American and European culture.

November 18, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Comment (1)
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Deneuve and Sarandon are something else.

November 4, 2007
ColeSmithey.com

Nearly unwatchable lesbian vampire flick.

December 16, 2004

In The Hunger, like in that ludicrous advertisement for Britney Spears's Curious perfume, sexual desire simply provokes postmodern psychotropic episodes.

October 12, 2004 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Comment (1)
Slant Magazine

Style over substance in this vampire drama.

August 20, 2004 Full Review
Spirituality and Practice

Director Scott spends more time on the visuals than plot and character development, so don't expect to understand much, but do enjoy the luxurious interior decor and eye-candy sunsets.

March 30, 2004 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

One scene, any scene, renders Hot Topic wannabes irrelevant.

January 21, 2004
New Times

Slick, but superficial vampire flick that finally collapses on itself.

March 19, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Tepid vampire fare is really notable only for being Tony Scott's first major movie and for its steamy love scene between Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon.

September 26, 2002 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

"influential Goth/lesbian/vampire love story"

July 29, 2002
Kalamazoo Gazette

Half silly, half sexy. And mostly boring.

July 26, 2002
eFilmCritic.com

Audience Reviews for The Hunger

1983, u ninnies! i watched this in honor of bowie's 65th b-day :D don't know how i missed it back in the day but in 2012 it's actually quite fun. it's very stylish and dark and kinda sleazy. denueve and bowie are a stunning couple; too bad he disappears halfway through, but then we get a denueve-sarandon makeout scene so it's all good. or at least way better than twilight. sure, it doesn't make a lot of sense and it's shot like an mtv video but the cast is great and highly watchable: bowie is always impressive imo and deneuve is an ice goddess. plus the aging effects here are magnificent. happy b-day david! u still look pretty damn good!
January 8, 2012
rubystevens
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

British vampire thriller from Tony Scott that really really does look like one of those old Cadbury's Flake adverts from the 80's. The constant swirling sweeping silky curtains fluttering in the breeze for no apparent reason, pale females with too much makeup, birds flapping n swooping romantically about the set in slow motion and lots of sexual slobbering haha.

Aside from that its not a bad vamp flick, extremely glossy and highly stylised but admittedly not much else. The plot and concept for the vampires is annoyingly confusing bringing up so many questions, why does only the lover/secondary vamp seem to age? why do they age when they are vamps? why do they age so quick? why does 'Miss Blaylock' age at the end? why does feeding on blood not save them etc...I could on.

Really this feels like an experiment in film making and imagery, its very glamorous and classy looking with a cast to match...Bowie, Sarandon and Deneuve, one could almost say its one long perfume advert or music video seeing as the plot ideas are so unexplained. I also find it rather odd that this sultry female vampire is somehow able to store loads of coffins with rotting mummies in her attic without them being noticed (the smell?), and why she also seems to have a pigeon infestation up there too lol!, she sure does like long flowing silky drapes though.

Definitely a cult and certainly worth seeing if you like vampire films, horror/thrillers or unusual one offs as films like this don't come along very often. Strongly advise seeing if you also have a Sarandon fetish hehe ;)
December 8, 2011
phubbs1

Super Reviewer

This is Tony Scott's debut film, and, well, let's put it this way: had the rest of his films been done in the same manner as this one, then his career would be pretty different than the way it is.

This is a vampie film based on a novel, though I use the term loosely as it isn't ever actually used in the film itself (almost self consciously it seems), and the rules aren't really established and not a whole lot is explained. The plot concerns a classy and sophisticated couple of fiends named John and Miriam (Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie) who are immortal. When he begins to suddenly age, they seek out the help of a geriatics researcher named Sarah (Susan Sarandon) who ends up becoming more than just a source of help for them, especially Miriam.

I appreciate that this film tries to be something different, and is rather classy, sophisticated, and artsy, but it's also painfully slow and dull. Not much really makes a whole lot of sense, though the concept is kinda cool. The film is wonderfully shot, and looks beautiful, but the editing is awful and choppy, and really jarring at times. I didn't like the score, but I did enjoy the classical tunes that are used at times as well as "Bela Lugosi's Dead" by Bauhaus, who also cameo in the opening scene.

The casting of the principals is good, and their performances aren't terrible, but not really great either. Cameos by Dan Hedaya and Willem Dafoe help things out a tad though. The makeup and effects are actually decent, but there's only really a couple of scenes that are all that great, the best being a tasteful love scene between Sarandon and Deneuve. I wouldn't call it erotic, but it is pretty sexy.

The film doesn't really work, but for a directorial debut it could be a whole lot worse. That's kidna the problem though, since the film isn't a clear complete failure, it drives me nuts becuase it is a failure, but he has some redeeming aspects that almost make it work. I'm torn on this one, and don't really recommend it, but let's just chalk it up to good intentions gone sour and give it around a C or C-.
November 21, 2011
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Moody, nuanced and erotic, Tony Scott gives his best in this suave spooker about ubercool postmodern New Yawk vampires.
July 28, 2011
ApeneckFletcher

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

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  • The Hunger (UK)
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