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Movie Review: Habit (2017)

Ol’ Michael (Elliot James Langridge) really knows how to multi-task as he divides his time pretty damn equally between the unemployment office and the local watering hole. Enter Lee (Jessica Barden) into that pulse pounding scenario; a young waif of a woman who immediately takes up residence in Mike’s flat following which our heroes have a series of drunken misadventures before arriving at Lee’s Uncle Ian’s (William Ash) establishment wherein Lee gets a wad of cash and Mike eventually ends up getting a job manning the door of the “massage parlor” (after witnessing a customer expiring from a slashed throat). Our hero isn’t long on the job before he realizes the name of the game is a bit more than the normal rub and tug; rather these ladies and their boss are rather hungry…hungry for human flesh, and Mikey may be of the same ilk!

Habit is a strange one my fiends. It operates under the same sort of rules as From Dusk ‘Til Dawn; i.e. it’s a story of characters living on the fringe of society who find themselves thrust into a blood drenched horror biz scenario right quick. But unlike that aforementioned classic, Habit is a rather dreary, mostly realistic affair. That isn’t to say it’s not enjoyable…quite the contrary; Langridge and Barden make for natural, likable leads, and seem completely believable regardless of the outre scenarios they find themselves in (though this is tempered by effective human drama. Also, while melancholy in tone, the film is drenched in lurid color from the neon and rain drenched streets of Manchester to the sordid clubs of the vampiric underworld, everything pulses with sensual life.

On the downside, there are some moments where the pace of the film drags a tad; in particular, a sequence where mike visits another haven for blood drinkers…the stage show in this sequence seems to run a tad long and seems like padding (although the final pay off is a show stopper for sure).

If you are looking for a vastly different take on the tried and true vampire story, Habit will be a revelation for you; it’s a dark, realistic take on the material packed with characters you can relate to and a surprising level of gravitas.

 

 

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