The Addiction (1995)

The Addiction (5 out of 10)
dir. Abel Ferrara

OK, this is not a great movie, but there are some things about it that I really, really appreciate. If we were doing a festival on Christianity in film, this might be a good one to have.

(small spoilers)

Like Bad Lieutenant, I loved the treatment of sprirituality in this film. The film expresses Christian themes in a somewhat positive light, without shame or a sneer. I say “somewhat” because I would gingerly call both films a Christian films. Ferrara doesn’t mind going overboard depicting sin, if you get my drift. Still, graphic depiction falls closely within Christian thelogical notions of sin. On some level I could see the Pope (and I cringe writing that) approve of both films.

The other part I appreciate it is that grace does not come cheaply, particularly in Bad Lieutenant. I was a bit disappointed by the rushed feeling at the end of The Addiction.

If there’s a problem I have with both films, it’s the length of time and amount of energy Ferrara uses to make his case about sin. It’s overkill, especially in BL, and it can make the films tough to watch. In general, he could make his point much sooner.

But, again, I find the Chrisitian spirituality really refreshing, even if it’s surrounded by pretty violent and debauched images.

More on The Addiction


Another thing I liked about the film was the take on vampires. Ferrara eschewed the fangs, and underplayed the supernatural elements. Instead, he portrayed the vampirism as an addiction. At one point, Lili Taylor injects herself with someone’s making her look like a addict.

Ferrara used the vampire motif to represent our side. When Taylor is first attacked by a vampire, the vampire tells Taylor to tell her to go away. After Taylor becomes a vampire, she says the same thing to at least one of her victims. It seems that the vampires represent the impulses that serve as temptation. None of the victims tell the vampire to just leave.

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