The Addiction ★★★★½

Moral relativism. Philosophical self-justification. Literate self-denial. Catholic absolution. Addiction metaphor. Elegant, historical interiors. Fetid, rancidly present city streets. Grunge. Hip-hop. THE ADDICTION seems to contain every vampire film made before and after it, ground together in boho poetry as Lili Taylor's graduate student morphs into a hepcat underground woman, her smoky, deadpan voice shot through with more conviction of the deluded addict than her philosophical arguments put forward. And my God, does Christopher Walken steal the show, filled with the born-again piety and paternalism of the recovered addict, castigating Taylor for still being in thrall to her fix as he boasts of being almost human, specifically pointing out that he even defecates. That's about Ferrara's measure of humanity, and it is about as positive as the film ever looks upon mankind, with cutaways to images of Holocaust death trenches and the mangled bodies of Vietnamese. Taylor's vampire sees such images as proof that she's not so vile a monster, but in Ferrara's world, it's all of grotesque whole.