The Hunger

1983

The Hunger

Critics Consensus

Stylish yet hollow, The Hunger is a well-cast vampire thriller that mistakes erotic moments for a satisfying story.

52%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 31

66%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 12,840
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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 revealed that his own sustained youth is not permanent, and his physical decrepitude begins to increase at an incredible rate. In a panic, John visits the clinic of scientist Sarah Roberts (Susan Sarandon), who has recently published a book on reversing the aging process, but she initially dismisses him as a crank, leaving him to sit in the lobby for several hours... during which his body ages several decades. After learning of his condition, Sarah traces John to his uptown flat. John is nowhere to be found, having been consigned by Miriam to a box in the attic with her legions of undead loves, leaving Miriam to deal with Sarah -- which she does quite effectively, seducing her into a steamy lesbian tryst. Their passion is consummated by a mingling of Miriam's blood with Sarah's, which later manifests itself as a psychic link between the two women and leaves Sarah with a rapidly-increasing appetite for blood. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi

Cast

Susan Sarandon
as Sarah Roberts
Cliff De Young
as Tom Haver
Beth Ehlers
as Alice Cavender
Dan Hedaya
as Lt. Allegrezza
Rufus Collins
as Charlie Humphries
Bauhaus
as Disco Group
Ann Magnuson
as Young Woman from Disco
Shane Rimmer
as Jelinek
Bessie Love
as Lilybelle
John Pankow
as 1st Phone Booth Youth
Willem Dafoe
as Phone Booth Youths
Sophie Ward
as Girl in London House
Philip Sayer
as London House Couple
Lise Hilboldt
as Waiting Room Nurse
Michael Howe
as 1st Intern
Ed Wiley
as Intern
View All

Critic Reviews for The Hunger

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (15)

  • 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.

    Nov 18, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top 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.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top 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.

    Oct 23, 2004 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The movie reeks with chic, but never, for one minute, takes itself too seriously, nor does it ever slop over into camp.

    Aug 30, 2004 | Rating: 3.5/5
  • 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.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…
  • With style and a proper helping of eroticism and blood, The Hunger gnashes its way by the teeth into that upper echelon, the pantheon of great vampire movies.

    May 6, 2019 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Hunger

  • Jan 22, 2012
    Bit of a cult vampire classic. Full review soon.
    Adam M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 08, 2011
    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 ;)
    Phil H Super Reviewer
  • Oct 25, 2011
    A vampire movie starring the lovely Catherine Deneuve, David Bowie and Susan Sarandon? Why hadn't I heard of this before now? Movie opens up with Bauhaus playing 'Bela Lugosi's Dead.' Perfect song choice as this film throws away most of the cliches attached to the Vampire genre, while staying true to the most basic elements of the original Dracula novel by Bram Stoker. Fascination with eternal life, doused with touches of eroticism. This was Tony Scotts feature film debut, and I am really surprised he had a film of this calibre in him. I always considered him more of a tactition, than a director with this much eye for style. Great photography and editing for sure. Clearly he took a lot from his previous experience in commercials and music videos. Apprently Scott originally wanted to make this movie based on Interview With a Vampire. Would have been interesting to see what he would have done with that story. Ah well, this one is very good too. Movie bombed in the box office and was universally hated by critics, and is criminally under known today as far as I'm concerned. One of the most unqiue takes on the vampire genre I have seen, since I watched Guillermo Del Toro's brilliant Cronos, about a year ago, and this came out much earlier. Really doesn't feel like it's almost 30 years old. Still feels relevent and modern and not dated in the least. Really can't think of anything critical to say about this one. Loved it. Highly recommended.
    Ed Fucking H Super Reviewer
  • Jul 28, 2011
    Moody, nuanced and erotic, Tony Scott gives his best in this suave spooker about ubercool postmodern New Yawk vampires.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer

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