The Hunger (1983) - Tony Scott
Given the recent passing of director Tony Scott, I decided to revisit his feature debut 'The Hunger' a film which I haven't seen in over a decade, yet had found memories of. The story of Miriam, a centuries-old vampire, who preys on victims with her lover, John, who she herself turned, granting him immortality - or so he thinks. When John realizes that his own sustained youth is not in fact permanent, he begins to age at an incredibly alarming rate, passing away in a matter of hours. With John gone, Miriam turns her seductive ways towards Sarah, a scientist who researches the effects of aging, tirelessly looking for a cure of sorts. For what Tony Scott's The Hunger lacks in concise storytelling, it makes up in spades with brooding atmosphere and style. Starting with a highly memorable opening sequence, Scott uses lots of experimental filmmaking techniques to heighten the primary emotion of the scene, whether it be tension, sadness, etc. Fragmented editing is also used, particularly when alternating between Miriam and Sarah's individual narratives, suggesting even early on that they have some form of connection going on between the two of them. Using fog heavily in its aesthetic, the natural light of the film is magnified, creating another great atmospheric device to bring the viewer into the Vampiric world of Miriam. The Hunger does feel quite uneven at times, seeming to have a hard time balancing both the vampire mythos portion with the scientific/humanistic storyline, though I think the film is intentionally more concerned with atmosphere and style. Erotic, sexy and violent, The Hunger is a worthy film in the vampire genre, giving us an early indication of the type of filmmaker Tony Scott would become.
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