#7 - The Hunger
SUMMARY (spoilers in Summary and Review)
A vampire couple living in New York in the 1980’s find themselves living very comfortably in a high-rise apartment, with lots of money to spare, prowling the nightlife and preying on the weak in darkened corners of bars and clubs. But then one of them, the man, begins to age at an alarming rate, while the woman does not…and it seems that she has a secret that she will not share with him. Desperate to find out what’s wrong with him, he goes to a doctor who ends up being pulled into their twisted world, and soon will be extended the opportunity to join them. The question is, will she take it?
Yes, vampire movies are so over, but despair not…for a realistic approach, as well as a visceral and raw approach to these creatures of the night, The Hunger does not lack in the least. Made in 1983, starring David Bowie, Catharine Deneuve, and Susan Sarandon, this particular vampire story is raw, primal, and also scary in its portrayal of the dark world of these supernatural creatures. However, a WARNING! The movie is graphic (nudity, blood, violence) and extremely dark...but if you don't mind, then forward we go.
The casting of David Bowie in the role for this movie was particularly genius, in my opinion, as he is one of those people who seems to not truly be of the normal, mortal role. In a few other movies he has also been given roles of characters that are not human, though they look to be. The angles of his face and the elegance of the way he moves and speaks combined together with the role of playing the vampire is very well thought out.
Made in the eighties, the music ranges from the typical synth and techno, all the way to wonderfully played classical pieces, including the great classic Suite #1 for Solo Cello in G-Major, Prelidium (Excerpt, First Movement). Catharine Deneuve is fantastic as the sadistic vampire who secretly takes pleasure out of seeing her lover panic and age before her eyes. When Bowie’s character goes to the doctor and meets Sarandon’s character, he is fighting the urge to kill out in broad daylight, and Bowie does a marvelous job in portraying the internal and external struggle that he is going through. My favorite line in the movie is when he first realizes what is happening to him, and he yells out… “What am I going to do?!”, but receives only silence as his answer.
In a macabre twist near the end of this movie, there is an explicit love scene between Deneuve and Sarandon that is not really necessary for the movie, but it does a little in helping to explain how Sarandon’s character is pulled into the darkness of that particular world. The true twist at the end of the movie, however, is one that I cannot put here as it would truly ruin the climactic and jarring ending of the movie.
This movie is a piece of art, though in a very dark way, and I think it is one of the most accurate films about vampires in terms of atmosphere and seduction. There’s a constant bittersweet feel to the characters that Bowie and Deneuve portray; immortality, but no true happiness, only fleeting pleasure that never lasts.