The Addiction ★★★★★

“It makes no difference what I do, whether I draw blood or not. It’s the violence of my will against theirs.”

So, I couldn’t let 2020 end without logging my favorite discovery of the year. I actually watched The Addiction a few months ago but just never logged it because I was trying to write this whole, lengthy, in depth review and never did. So now, I’ll just say this about it: I can’t remember the last time a movie hit me quite like this one. This is one of only 3 times in my life that I can remember watching a movie and then immediately watched it again. It completely blew me away. It feels so raw and yet it’s so uniquely beautiful and just drew me in from the very opening moments of the film. Abel Ferrara is able to weave so much together in such a compelling way. A vampire story, set in mid-90s NYC and shot in gorgeous black and white, that really is talking about drug addiction and throws in religion and philosophy for good measure, and somehow, miraculously didn’t end up feeling pretentious to me. 

That’s probably mostly due to Lili Taylor’s outstanding performance that brings the whole movie together. She’s playing a grad student who gets attacked and bitten one night in an alley, right at the start of the film, and we follow her transformation from there. We feel every single emotion she goes through and she’s asked to do so much here. 

There’s a scene where she’s at a party to celebrate getting her doctorate, and she’s in a closet just wrestling with herself, physically scratching and pulling at her own clothes, desperately trying to fight her addiction, trying to not to give in. It just killed me. It’s an amazing piece of acting. 

This is a flat out masterpiece that I’m so glad I discovered.

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