The Addiction (1995)

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Critic Consensus: Abel Ferrara's 1995 horror/suspense experiment blends urban vampire adventure with philosophical analysis to create a smart, idiosyncratic, and undeniably odd take on the genre.

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Director Abel Ferrara applies his eccentric vision to the vampire genre with this cerebral "Art" film about graduate philosophy student Kathleen Conklin (Lili Taylor), who is bitten by an aggressive female vampire (Annabella Sciorra) and soon spirals into a nightmarish world of blood addiction and existential angst. Driven by her merciless condition, she attacks several of her pretentious friends and classmates (even her professor) and mainlines their blood like heroin. Just as she becomes more bold in seeking prey on the streets of New York, she is waylaid by a potential victim -- actually a sophisticated vampire himself named Peina (Christopher Walken), who chooses to control his own blood addiction through fasting and meditation. Seeming to regain her self-control, she eventually completes her graduate thesis (helped by a bit of vampire nepotism) and holds a party to celebrate, inviting the entire faculty as well as members of her new "family" to join in the festivities. Although the parallels to heroin addiction are in plain view, this is also a study in the essential evil of humankind -- a theme evident in much of Ferrara's work.

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Critic Reviews for The Addiction

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (6)

No matter, without exactly transcending the awful material, Ferrara puts it across with astonishing poetry and conviction.

Oct 20, 2009 | Full Review…

Scary, funny, magnificently risible, this could be the most pretentious B-movie ever -- and I mean that as a compliment.

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

Love him or hate him, Mr. Ferrara is one of the few directors who can turn genre movies into something deeper.

May 20, 2003 | Rating: 3/5

Abel Ferrara, working from a rabidly ambitious script by Nicholas St. John, gives the genre a provocative and perversely funny snap that Anne Rice might envy.

May 12, 2001

Unfortunately, it's so dark -- and impenetrable -- that it shuts us out.

Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Macabre and provocative, yet wonderfully restrained.

Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Addiction

½

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Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

an existential vampire film. very disturbing. probably only ferrara could pull this off. fun cameo by chiristopher walken. 'twilight' eat your heart out

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

½

Very plausible.

vieras esine
vieras esine

Super Reviewer

½

Appropriately down 'n' dirty flick from marverick director Abel Ferrara. The Addiction deals with vampirism sans mythology, placing such an affliction as a parallel with drug addiction, a topic Ferrara has addressed before several times, most notably in the seminal Bad Lieutenant. Walken has a small but highly worthy part, playing a world-weary existential child of the night, using torturous methods to validate his claims that the world is uncompromisingly dog-eat-dog ("The entire world's a graveyard, and we, the birds of prey picking at the bones"). The cinematography (in glorious black and white) is stark, adding to the urban nightmarish feel that Ferrara is so accustomed to. This is the perfect antidote to any claims that he is nothing more than a Scorsese imitator.

Antony Stubbs
Antony Stubbs

Super Reviewer

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