Year Of The Vampire: The Hunger Is A Deceptively Gorgeous Movie About Grooming – /Film

The grooming of Alice is cut short by John, so Miriam has to race to indoctrinate Sarah, forcing the woman to kill her own jealous boyfriendTom (Cliff De Young) with the promise that Sarah will soon forget who she was before she became a vampire. Miriam's haste shows what a truly insecure individual she is, even after existing as a vampire since the days of ancient Egypt. Her behavior is pathological: She literally cannot live one day without a companion to consume other humans alongside her in order to survive. As they say, misery loves company.At the finale of "The Hunger" Miriam's centuries of victimizing others finally come back to haunt her, with all of her mummified former companions rising out of their coffins, their arms outstretched to engulf her. It is a finale more than a little reminiscent of the infamous hallway scene in (convicted rapist) Roman Polanski's "Repulsion," which also starredDeneuve. In the end, Miriam maddeningly rots in a coffin while Sarah survives, seen in London with two young companions, a man and a woman. The cycle of grooming will indeed continue.

Audiences witnessing the permanence of what Miriam does to her companions runs counter to what many victims were taught just prior to the time the movie was made (before the anti-rape movements of the '70s), namely that it was better to cover up traumatic events like assault or abuse, to suppress it and move on with your life. Pedophilia in and of itself did not become a serious public concern until the 1980s. Nowadays the narrative has changed (albeit incrementally), and society is finally beginning to acknowledge the long-term post-traumatic harm of surviving abuse, including delayed recall. Showing Sarah on the balcony of her London flat at the end of the film (set to Franz Schubert's somber "Piano Trio in E-Flat," used previously in "Barry Lyndon") allows us to see a wistfulness, even an emptiness in her gaze. One might infer that the course of her life has been inexorably altered. Where once she was a prominent medical professional and successful writer, now she is like Miriam using music (a piano and cello are shown), fashion, and her feminine wiles to lure in her next attractive victims.

The profundity of this ending is somewhat tarnished by the fact that the character of Sarah was originally intended to kill herself, refusing her own transformation. This was changed last-minute to leave the door open for potential sequels, denying Sarah a level of agency. Susan Sarandon discussed this in the film's DVD commentary:

"The thing that made the film interesting to me was this question of, 'Would you want to live forever if you were an addict?' But as the film progressed, the powers that be rewrote the ending and decided that I wouldn't die, so what was the point? All the rules that we'd spent the entire film delineating, that Miriam lived forever and was indestructible, and all the people that she transformed died, and that I killed myself rather than be an addict. Suddenly I was kind of living, she was kind of half dying ... Nobody knew what was going on, and I thought that was a shame."

While the original intent may have been one thing, the resulting ending isn't a happy one, but rather an ironic one less about addiction and more of violence begetting further violence. One of the primary purposes of the horror genre as a whole is to allow people to process fear and trauma in a safe way, and Tony Scott's "The Hunger" helps us reckon with an insidious aspect of human behavior that tragically many have to carry with them eternally.

Read more:
Year Of The Vampire: The Hunger Is A Deceptively Gorgeous Movie About Grooming - /Film

Related Post

Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
This entry was posted in Vampire. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.