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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

When Sam meets Anna, his alcoholic delusions lead him to believe she is a vampire. His dilemma becomes a struggle with sanity, truth and fiction, all the while straining his relationships with friends and family.


New York indie filmmaker Larry Fessenden wrote, directed, and stars in this 1997 tale of urban vampirism overlooked in the wake of two similar productions, Michael Almereyda's Nadja and Abel Ferrara's The Addiction. Less precious then the former and less pretentious than the latter, Habit is a modest, intelligent study of loneliness, addiction, and urban alienation. Fessenden stars as alcoholic hero Sam, a shabby, shaggy guy in a dead-end job who falls madly in love with a mysterious young woman (Meredith Snaider). She'll only see him at night, draws blood during ferocious, animalistic sexual encounters, and has a strange habit of disappearing, but when he suspects she's more than she appears, his life turns from romantic idyll to sinister nightmare. Fessenden makes an oddly charming lead with his crooked, broken-toothed smile and distracted demeanor, and Snaider is appropriately cryptic as she blows in and out of his life with nary an explanation. Shot in the streets of New York in a style that recalls John Cassavetes (a hero of Fessenden's), the picture periodically loses itself in side stories and long conversations, and Fessenden doesn't quite have the resources to make the jump from naturalism to supernatural. But at their best his low-budget special effects take on an eerie beauty, turning this indie bloodsucker into a compelling paranoid psychodrama. The DVD also features a making-of featurette directed and narrated by Fessenden. --Sean Axmaker

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Larry Fessenden, Meredith Snaider, Aaron Beall, Patricia Coleman, Heather Woodbury
  • Directors: Larry Fessenden
  • Writers: Larry Fessenden
  • Producers: Dayton Taylor, Susan A. Stover
  • Format: Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Fox Lorber
  • DVD Release Date: October 12, 1999
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000JS6N
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,001 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Habit" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Michael R Gates VINE VOICE on February 12, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Over the past fifteen years or so, talented indie writer and auteur Larry Fessenden has earned a reputation for creating high-quality, highly aesthetic films within the constraints of extremely meager budgets. Many of his films have been short works and have, unfortunately, gone unnoticed by the public at large, but in recent years, he has written and directed a handful of low-budget but high-quality feature-length horror films that have pushed him further and further into the limelight. HABIT is the second of these films, and it is his first work to have garnered both a high level of public attention and major critical acclaim (including a three-star "thumbs-up" from the venerable Roger Ebert).
The movie examines a small slice from the life of Sam (portrayed by the writer/director himself), a somewhat hapless part-time nightclub manager who has just split with his live-in girlfriend. At the Halloween party of some friends, a drunk and grungy Sam is inexplicably singled out by the attractive yet dark and ethereal Anna. In spite of the seeming mismatch, one thing leads to another, and Sam hastily plunges into a hot but reckless sexual relationship at the urging of this mysterious dark-haired beauty. During the next few weeks, they have sex in a park, sex on the rooftop of a New York apartment building, sex in a hospital examination room, and sex in numerous other bizarre situations and places. It isn't that Sam has a problem with copulating in risky environs; it's just that he's a bit put off by Anna's habit of biting and nipping him during the act. After every lovemaking session, Sam falls into a deep sleep, only to wake up the next morning, alone, with a new collection of bloody scrapes or bite-marks somewhere on his bod.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 26, 2001
Format: DVD
Being a long time fan of vampire books and movies, especially those that depict the vampire's world as gothic and sexy, I've occasionally found myself wishing vampires were real. Following those thoughts down their inevitable dark and twisted path, I've puzzled over whether the reality would be as romantic as the fiction. You know, finding myself locked in a room with an incredible hunk claiming to be a vampire who wants to make love to me, suck my blood and offering me the chance to die and become a vampire, too...well, could the guy's claims be believed or is he really just some psycho who's going to torture and brutally murder me?! The movie, Habit, seemed to bring my mental dilemma to life. The people and settings are commonplace and familiar. When Sam tries to share his fears about Anna with Nick, Nick finds it impossible to entertain the idea of vampires really existing, but then so does Sam for that matter. Sam's just trying to figure out exactly what's going on; he knows he's getting all messed up. The viewers aren't given the answer either, but rather they are left to come to their own conclusions. For myself, I'm with Sam and lean towards Anna being a vampire; but then maybe Sam's perceptions are skewed due to the problems already in his life, his drinking among them. Habit is the most believable vampire movie I've ever seen, and I give it a resounding five stars and two thumbs up!!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 10, 2000
Format: DVD
I was absolutely impressed with HABIT. If you only want gallons of gore horror flicks, or shot-on-video lesbian vampire goofiness, avoid HABIT. HABIT is a mature, intelligent, believable, and completely entertaining vampire film. The characters and the plot hook you in. You can't wait to see what happens next. The pacing is tight, never letting you get bored. This is a fantastic genre film for intelligent horror fans. Romero's MARTIN was one of the best vampire films to ever give you the "vampire in modern times" treatment. I am a big fan of that movie and I would rank HABIT right up there with it. Go rent or buy HABIT now! I highly recommend it!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By D. West on November 13, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a film for people with a high degree of imagination and intelligence. The story is not necessarily what it seems, or perhaps it is, it's for the viewer to interpret. Sam may indeed be the prey of the mysterious and beautiful vampire, Anna; or he may be imagining more than there is due to his own draining excesses of despair, loss, isolation, and alcoholism. This is what makes the film so interesting. If you want a cut and dry, highly special effect-laden vampire flick, this is likely not for you. For those that like their mind challenged, see it.

Filmed on a relatively low budget (and based on an earlier video work) Larry Fessenden has achieved a more engrossing film than I've seen on the big budget screen (as an example, while "The Hulk" was a nice exercise in special fx, it bored me in comparison to "Habit"). Habit's history is nicely chronicled in the bonus features on the DVD.

Meredith Snaider is wonderful as the mysterious Anna. She remains a mystery in life. All we know about her in the bios included in the disc is that this is her only film; there is no background info on her at all; I did, however, learn that she became a social worker in real life after this film. I hope she is aware that her talent is truly appreciated in her one screen appearance.

Amaze your friends, invite them for a showing of a truly innovative and often disturbing film. Let the independant fimmakers show how they pioneer the art, especially Larry Fessenden. See "Habit."
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