The Hunger [FILM REVIEW]

The Hunger PosterRelease Date: 1983
Running Time: 97 minutes
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Reviewed by: Dove
Final Score: 4 Moons (out of 5)


This has to be one of the best vampire films ever made. For one thing, it stars David Bowie. The mere idea of David Bowie as a vampire makes me feel slightly quivery inside. And another thing that makes this one of the best vampire flicks ever is that it’s original. It does make use of a lot of the usual vampire tropes, but in a unique way, so that they never feel like cliches. As a matter of fact, if you happened to miss the opening scenes, you might not even realize it was about vampires at first. Which is really what’s great about The Hunger: it’s subtle. It takes its time, and allows events to unfold slowly and realistically. It doesn’t indulge in any over-the-top action scenes either, which I found incredibly refreshing. (Not that action scenes are a bad thing; it’s just nice to see a fantasy film that plays out in a more realistic fashion.)


The main characters are a trendy vampire couple, Miriam and John. They do all the standard vampire things: acting in a sophisticated manner, pretending to be aristocrats, and slaughtering humans for eternal life. Miriam is by far the more senior of the two, and it was she who made John a vampire, like herself, in the first place. John knows less about vampires than he realizes, and is shocked when he discovers that he has begun to age rapidly. If this continues, he will live forever as an ancient, withered old man. And it turns out that this is not the first time that something of this nature has happened; Miriam has been in many relationships in the past, all of which ended in the very same way. Desperately, John goes to see a woman named Dr. Sarah Roberts, who according to the news may possess some means of aiding him. Sadly for John, she thinks he’s crazy, and, so, ignores him. Later on, however, she realizes that there may have been some truth in his worries and  decides to visit him. And that’s where things really start to get interesting….

The opening scene is truly unforgettable.

The opening scene is truly unforgettable. (Image used for commentary purposes under Fair Use. Copyright © 1983, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.)


This is a very stylish film, with undoubtedly some of the best visuals I’ve ever seen in a picture. Its sense of elegance and aesthetic qualities make it a joy to watch; though, admittedly, its being so stylized does make it feel a bit melodramatic at times. Still, it manages to tell the story in an interesting way and makes impressive use of the medium.

Peter Murphy from Bauhaus, performing their classic Gothic song, Bela Lugosi is Dead, in the film .

Peter Murphy from Bauhaus, performing their classic Gothic song, Bela Lugosi is Dead, in the film . (Image used for commentary purposes under Fair Use. Copyright © 1983, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.)

Gothic Fit

If you haven’t guessed already, this is one of the essential Goth films. It’s ridiculously chic, it has vampires in it, and it’s arty; not to mention the fact that none other than Bauhaus appears at the very start of the film, performing the quintessential Goth song “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”. That is pretty much as Goth as it gets.

Closing Thoughts

The Hunger is the perfect film to watch in the late evening with a glass of blood. Admittedly, more emphasis is put on style than substance, but I’m willing to forgive that for just how gorgeous it is to look at. Then again, it doesn’t completely manage to avoid descending into camp, but that’s sort of appealing too, in a way.

Story: 3 Moons (out of 5)
Presentation: 5 Moons (out of 5)
Gothic Fit: 5 Moons (out of 5)
Final Score (not an average): 4 Moons (out of 5)

Score: Four Moons

Author: Dove

I am a genderfluid Goth with a rather nice hat. I do not speak much, as I am quite shy. While I am a relative newcomer to the Goth community (due to my age), I have a great interest in learning as much about it as I can, and in educating others about it.

My interests include experimental art, post-punk/ambient/industrial/avant-garde/No Wave/ethereal/deathrock music, fantasy novels, Surrealism, Neo-Victorian fashion, crossdressing, comics and animation, poetry, avant-garde, cabaret, cryptids and other things.

I review arty films with a dark aesthetic for this magazine. Hopefully you will enjoy them.

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