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 ofÂ 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, andÂ slaughtering humans for eternal life.Â 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, andÂ is shocked when he discovers that heÂ has begun toÂ 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 andÂ Â decides to visit him. And that’s where things really start to get interesting….
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.
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.
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:Â 3 Moons (out of 5)
Presentation:Â 5 Moons (out of 5)
Gothic Fit:Â 5 Moons (out of 5)
Final Score (not an average): 4 Moons (out of 5)