After an encounter with a neck-biter, a publishing executive thinks that he's turning into a vampire.After an encounter with a neck-biter, a publishing executive thinks that he's turning into a vampire.After an encounter with a neck-biter, a publishing executive thinks that he's turning into a vampire.
Nicolas Cage on the Roles That Changed His Life
The opening photography is wonderful, silhouetted spires and Gothic details of Manhattan, that seem to reveal the city as a place of dark supernatural horrors within the regular city we know, which was a great start.
You're read in other reviews that this is a film about a man going crazy, and that his insanity takes of the form of believing that he's a vampire. What I haven't heard anyone talk about is the place that his misogyny plays in that he's lonely and isolated and sees women as objects, so as he goes insane he thinks he's a vampire, someone who picks up young women, rapes and kills them and is cursed by this. In this movie, Nic cage HATES women, and a lot of discomfort comes from how horrible he is to them. I thought it was also ingenious how his therapist, the imaginary vampire woman, the woman he jilts near the beginning, and his secretary all look vaguely alike. The director could easily have thrown in a bit of psychoanalytic depth by having a photo of the character's mother looking similar as well.
There are things in this movie that are vaguely funny on their own, but in the context of the movie it's not really funny at all. I mean yeah, people do goofy things as they are mentally breaking apart, but is that funny? All the actors do a great job, but I love the therapist, who seems so engaged and curious. I like how Cage's character assumes the movements of movie vampires, because in his lunacy that is probably what he is imitating.
There are only two problems I think the film has. The film goes out of its way to show how Alva, the abused secretary, needs her job and is not supported by her family, but Cage's behavior is SO over the top ANYONE would know that she has a lot of reason to go to the police. That she remains so passive is a little frustrating and unrealistic to the point where it detracts from the film.
The big problem, I think, is that ramping up so quickly to high insanity in the first hour, there's really nowhere for the film to go in it's last 45 minutes. The scenes of cage humiliating his secretary become repetitive, as do other aspects but overall definitely worth watching.
I was shocked to learn that this was the director's first full feature, as it is very assured and well-done. I would love to have a chat with the writer to know HOW this idea came to him and what he thought about it. That's it.
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- Aug 22, 2003