It's true that it has an MTV video feel to it especially with that discotheque opening with Bela Lugosi's Dead (Bauhaus) playing almost dissonantly complete with the bizzareness of the goth nightlife that serves as the Blaylock's hunting ground for the night. The dream-like, filtered ambience of the film is also reminiscent of most 80's videos.
But unlike music videos, despite of its minimal dialogue, slow pace, and more artsy execution, this film deals with something deeper other than the hunger for blood which is another reason why the audience is drawn in.
The plot is pretty straightforward, not confusing even with the constant flashbacks or inserts, and shots with half-hidden faces in curtains or shadows. It's not your typical vampire movie; they bleed, they're not afraid of the sun, we see them in mirrors, they get photographed, they are a much more vulnerable species compared to the commonly known vampires in movies or mythology. Other than the hunger for blood, in this movie, we get a closer look in the lives of these vampires. Not just all glamorous or cape-donning creatures of the night that strikes fear in the hearts of virginal women. We see their vulnerable side, that they're susceptible to loneliness, fear of dying, and most of all, fear of losing their beauty and youth. In a world where aesthetic beauty and youth is given so much prestige and importance that we tend to fear the idea of getting old and ugly more than we fear death, it's interesting to see a vampire movie taking away the age-old eternal youth concept and humanizing them more.
The cast, aside from the music and technique, is what made this film achieve its cult status, in my opinion. The three leads are perfect for their roles. Catherine Deneuve's stunning beauty and sophistication & David Bowie's other-worldly presence establishes the right mood in which this movie is aiming for. Add in Susan Sarandon's typical appeal. Just perfect.
To incorporate classical music, right after a goth band playing in the first sequence was deliciously surprising with the sudden change of pace and mood. The music is one of the highlights and it gives this film a classier and more unique appeal.
The climax/ending is kinda contradictory to the whole film and is a prime example of studio execs messing up with the integrity of a movie for the sake of a franchise/sequel possibilities, and it's just several minutes of "is this for real?" eye-rolling from me. BUT, after I got dizzy from my severe eye-rolling, I stopped to think for awhile. I like this movie. And I decided that I can forgive that bit. The scene is creepy in a way, a bit campy, but I guess it's okay. (SPOILERS) The last part is horrifying for Miriam, how easily and surprisingly the tables were turned and she's now suffering inside a box in eternity; and for Sarah to survive and forced to face a "lifetime" of trying to satiate her newfound hunger. (END)
- The first time I've seen Catherine Deneuve in a movie is in Dancer in the Dark, and she was playing a frumpy, motherly lady. So when my friend told me about her and how beautiful she is, I was like, "O_O are you serious? Catherine Deneuve? I don't think so." Oh how wrong I was. I can't believe how much beauty and sophistication she exudes. She looks like Alyssa Milano, but way classier.
- That scene where the aging John was slowly descending the stairs struck me as somewhat similar to the classic vampire silent film Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror.
Blaylock is descending, and only his upper body is seen. Nosferatu is ascending the stairs with his creepy hands shown. Just a familiar feel with that scene.
- The famous scene of Deneuve and Sarandon. It's really well-executed and very tasteful. And given both stars' status in the film business, this scene made it more appealing and exciting, I guess.
- David Bowie's rapid aging. While it's nice to see a younger and fresher Bowie in the first scenes, it's nicer to see him deteriorate in less than one hour. Now we see what he's gonna look like in a few more years lol.
- Lastly, to see Willem Defoe for a few seconds, credited as "young phone booth guy" makes it all the more worth seeing the movie.. it's just fun to spot big-named stars back when they're just starting out.
The Verdict:The Hunger is a somber yet stylish, artistic, classy vampire movie which was made more appealing and relevant because of its lead stars. For a debut film, Tony Scott did it with a clear sense of direction (im excluding that studio decision scene), unique visuals, camera works, and photography, which makes me wonder why didn't he do more of this in his career?
4/5 - Bowie, Deneuve, Sarandon, vampires & classical music... need I say more?
There has been talks going on for years that they're planning to do a remake of The Hunger but no concrete plans has materialized yet. But if there's a possibility that this will push through, since Tony Scott has passed away, who do you think is deserving to take over the remake? And which actors are worthy to replace the three original leads?
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